We are probably familiar with the ‘to dos’ of loving others well. In Dave Furman’s book Being There he provides some helpful “do not do these things”.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when loving those who are hurting:
- Don’t encourage them to just “move-on. “When we disregard their earthly pain and only point them to their heavenly reward, we fail to comfort them in their pain.”
- Don’t make it their identity. “If you talk about it all the time, you are at risk of defining them by their struggle and pain as if that’s’ all they’re about.”
- Don’t be the fix-it person. “It’s in our nature to want to offer a solution for a problem. And that’s great! We yearn to help and often have great intentions by wanting to fix things. The heart behind this is generally wonderful, but sometimes the best help is a listening ear to the problems that a person is really facing.”
- Don’t be hyperspiritual. “Be as bewildered by your friend’s suffering as he is, and instead of providing answers from the mind of God, point him to the love of Christ who will never fail him.”
- Don’t pledge general help. “Knowing how hard it is for people to ask for help, we need to offer assistance in a way that is easy to accept. When you pledge general help to someone in need, it’s not likely that he or she will take you up on the offer. When we pledge general help, we put the burden on the hurting, we expect them to come up with a way for us to help.”
Read more about the book here.