I can still picture where I was standing, hear the words, and feel the way they hit my heart.
I’d finally gotten the courage to share my sadness and longings with an older woman in our congregation.
But before the words were fully out of my mouth, she looked at me and said, “Shame on you. You are blessed. You should stop feeling sorry for yourself and count your blessings.”
Now, although she may have been right. At that moment, I needed her to listen with compassion. I needed her to care that I was hurting. I needed her to pray with me and for me.
And the truth is that although I want to be someone who consistently listens with care and compassion, I wonder how often I have hurriedly given a quick answer that wounded a hurting heart.
I see it on social media, too.
Someone shares their heart or concern and the comments pour in…
- Maybe you have done something that is blocking God’s answer.
- You need more faith.
- Are you faithful in daily prayer?
- What could you do to solve this problem?
I believe part of the problem is we want fast, quick, and easy. We want to fix the problem and move on.
But God wants us to listen, love, and yes, even forgive those whose words hurt us.
So, let’s take a closer look at what God’s Word tells us to do when someone shares their struggles with us and/or what we should do when they let us down.
When someone trusts you enough to share their struggles with you, remember:
♥ Help each other in troubles and problems. This is the kind of law Christ asks us to obey. Galatians 3:2 (NLV)
♥ Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
♥ Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 1 Peter 3:8
And when someone lets you down and fails to listen and love you the way you need, remember…
♥ We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:28
♥ Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossian 3:13–14
♥ Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Will you join me as I go to the Lord in prayer?
A Prayer to Listen Compassionately,
Pray Faithfully, and Love & Forgive Like Jesus
Father, we need You. We are imperfect and impatient. We’ve grown accustomed to instant meals and instant entertainment. We want instant answers to our prayers and the prayers of the people around us.
As I look at Jesus’ love and compassion and His patience with countless people who came to Him for healing and provision, I want to be more like Him. Jesus took time and listened with love. He gave us an example of prayer and presence.
Father, Please help us. Please help me. Give me the patience I need to fully listen with love. May my words be caring and compassionate without judgment or platitudes.
May I faithfully and continuously bring every need to You in prayer. You know our needs and You know what is best. You have promised to be with us, to help us carry our burdens, and to work all things for our good and Your glory. Help me trust You.
Lord, You have commanded us to love and forgive. Please give me everything I need to represent You to a hurting world. Help me shine the light of Your love to my hurting friends. And help me forgive others as You have faithfully forgiven me. Your grace, mercy, and love bless each of us every day. Please help us that we might help one another. Amen.
Relationships are tricky, aren’t they?
We want to love well. We want to be loved well. But the truth is we all fail at times. No one, besides Jesus, loves perfectly 100% of the time. We need to be patient and we need to forgive.
And we need to refuse to give up on each other. Every person on the planet is a flawed work in progress. May we commit, with God’s help, to listen, love, and forgive . . . like Jesus.
I’m asking God to bless you today and give you everything you need to help you live with love . . . like Jesus.
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