Thursday, September 26

friends through trouble

Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

"One of life's most difficult challenges is to be a stalwart for a hurting friend, particularly if his trial involves potential wrongdoing or error on his part.  Sometimes we are quicker to judge and condemn than to pray and be available to vicariously share a burden.

Christ called His disciples friends.  And when they hurt, He was there.  Always.  His example remains perfect today, and you'll never know what kind of real friend you are until their trouble comes." ~Charles Stanley

Friends.  A lot of people tend to be there during the fair weather.  Good times, good activities, good vibes.  But when stormy weather comes in life, a lot of people disappear.  There is often an awkwardness that develops at a time when the most need for a caring friend is present.

One thing working in ministry has taught me is that we don't have to solve all the problems in someone's stormy life.  We just need to be there to help carry a burden.  The primary gift we need is a listening ear.  Listen with your full attention. Speak back what you've heard.  Help them process the choices they may have in a loving compassionate way. Let them know you are there for them whatever they may determine to do. Remind them of their Savior who will also carry their burden offering His forgiveness with healing.  And pray for them while together and while apart.  That's being a true friend through times of trouble.

Tammy ~@~

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