I have had an e-mail exchange going on with someone recently, and the topic turned to grieving and comfort. I wrote the person something that I thought I would share as a little reminder on my blog. It seems that often, in difficult situations where we’re around people who are suffering, we tend to forget the following:
Christians are supposed to “Love one another with brotherly affection.” (Rom. 12:10), “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15) since in the body of Christ “if one member suffers, all suffer together…” (1 Cor. 12:26). We’re supposed to comfort one another in our suffering (2 Cor. 13:11) and be kind and tenderhearted to one another (Eph. 4:32). We’re supposed to encourage and build up one another (1 Thess. 5:11) and “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). God comforts us in our affliction so that the comfort that we receive from God may overflow into the lives of fellow believers who are afflicted around us (2 Cor. 1:3-4). God is marked as being one who “comforts the downcast” (2 Cor. 7:6) and of course he’s unquestionably our example to follow. One must remember the new commandment that Christ gave believers: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (1 John 13:34-35).
There’s more than a few verses there that I need to commit to memory as I definitely don’t do those things as much as I ought. When in doubt around someone who is suffering (not someone who is willfully sinning though), err on the side of love and comfort. That, and I’m so thankful that I’m part of a church filled that has so many examples of love and comfort that I can learn those things from.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “The Down Comforter” Unger