A few days ago, I wrote a blog about why you don’t have to quote the Bible to people who are hurting. My aim in writing what I did was to take some of the pressure off of Christians who feel like they have to say something super-spiritual because they don’t really know what to say to someone who is hurting or in pain. Of course you don’t have to speak Scripture to someone who is hurting. I believe that often, the best thing you can do is be like Jesus and become His words. For more, click here.
The flip side of what I wrote the other day is how the Word of God has shaped the lives of each person in my immediate family over the past month since we found out Mom has the cancer working against her. As a family, we have been in the Word of God like never before. I go to the Word to remind myself who God is, and what He has done.
I have read the Bible to my Mom so many times. For the most part, I lost my appetite for reading general books lately. Even the ones in the Christian section. I’m sure those books have a lot of good perspective. I could read those books, but I’m going to the source of wisdom, the place where Jesus speaks, and where poets, prophets, beggars, and sinners like me struggle with God and place their trust in Him. I’m reading the Bible, and I’m finding more and more that the Word of God is incredibly useful and purposeful.
One of my friends, Rachel, gave my Mom a stack of brightly colored 3×5 cards that my Mom read as she was preparing for surgery.
Our family has received encouraging texts of God’s goodness and His faithfulness.
Some of my friends read the Bible out loud to me when I was too emotional to get the words out myself. For all of this, I am grateful.
In my blog, “Why You Don’t Have To Quote the Bible To People Who Are Hurting”, I mentioned things I wouldn’t recommend saying. I will hold to this. When people are grieving, it is a great opportunity for you to be quiet and listen to them. Or just listen to silence. Just because it’s silent doesn’t mean someone has to speak. We can start worrying about all the things we should say or shouldn’t say. At the end of the day, I think the important thing is that you show up. I’ve said plenty of things to people who are hurting that I shouldn’t have. I think people understand that if you’re showing up, and even if you speak up a little too much for them, you really do love them and you’re there because you love them.
Now, when I say, you should speak the Bible to Christians who are hurting, I do encourage you to consider the place you are coming from, and to first ask, “God, do you want me to say this?” Listen to hear if you have confirmation on the inside from God about saying something. The Word of God has the ability to comfort people, and you can join in the process of comforting by becoming His words as you speak His words. I find that the Bible sounds better when spoken to me by someone who sits with me for a while, and cares to listen to what I have to say and not just speak to me.
Part of the reason I believe in speaking the Bible to Christians, is because I do this when I preach, and I have had many times when people told me specific Scriptures spoke to the hurt inside of them. God’s Word can comfort the broken more strongly than an embrace, because His Word can touch places you and I simply cannot.
Here are five reasons you should speak the Word of God to Christians who are hurting.
- The Word of God is full of promises for us. I need to be reminded of the eternal nature of God’s promises when I am hurting. I need to be reminded that my help comes from the Lord, and that I can trust in a God I can’t see. Trusting an invisible God is often hard for us. It is part of being human. I believe God knows this. God is proud of us when we trust Him because He knows it is difficult. We should encourage each other to trust in God’s promises.
- The Word of God is full of miracles. The Hebrew word for testimony is eduth. The root word of eduth is oud. The word oud means repeat or do it again. As I understand this, the root of us telling testimonies is that when we tell testimonies, we are remembering what God has done and it prepares us to ask Him to do it again. Maybe that’s why the Bible says “remember” so many times. If we do not remember what God has done, it will be difficult for us to believe Him for miracles going forward.
- The Word of God is full of comfort. One of the most important things to me is having a story bigger than myself that I get to be a part of. This is quite comforting to me knowing that life is about more than me. One of the comforting things is that the most difficult circumstances we go through prepare us to comfort others when they go through what we’re going through. 2 Corinthians 1:3-8.
- The Word of God is full of encouragement. This piggybacks on the whole idea of God’s promises, but it doesn’t just stop there. There are statements of wisdom to encourage the heart in Proverbs. There is encouragement that one day the curse of sin will be gone, and that there will be no more death. There is encouragement in that whenever we’re going through things, Jesus says, “Me too.”
- The Word of God is from God, and it is one of the way God actively loves us. This is one of the most amazing features of Scripture to me. God actively loves us through Scripture. That’s why it says the Word is “alive”. The Word of God speaks to us in ways no other person can except when that person speaks the Word of God to us.
Sometimes, you’ve got to speak the Bible to someone because the Bible is the Word of God. As Christians, this is the Word we live by. If you’re not living by the Word of God, then whose word are you living by?
I hope this encourages you to love people more and better. The pressure is off to say the right thing. Love people. Be with them. And maybe God will give you a bit of His Word to speak to them. Ultimately, let love have the final say.