Ministering to the hurting

This morning I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church give some excellent advice about how we should approach the hurting and wounded people (something the Warren family knows all too well) in our lives. In fact, you can see the sermon all this week (every two hours) here. The information was very convicting for me on many levels and I thought it was worth sharing.

When ministering to those who are hurting or in a season of crisis, Pastor Rick gave the following ways to be the most effective:

1) Show up. Generally people tend to isolate themselves (not a good idea) when they are hurting and so asking if you should come by is usually declined. Just go. In my own words I would add "show up but shut up": Words are usually inadequate but hugs speak volumes. Also, trying to relate stories of your own or give advice is inappropriate. Your presence and support is all that is needed.

2) Share their pain. (See Job 2:11-13 and Romans 12:15)

3) Take the initiative. Again, asking probably won't be accepted and the person who is hurting might not even know how they need help. Anticipate needs (meals, rides, chores) and go for it!

For those who are suffering he offered two pieces of advice:

1) Cry out to God. (See Psalm 50:15 and Lamentations 2:19) Who better to to share your grief than a God who knows what your pain is like?

2) Let others help you. (See Proverbs 17:17) It's hard. You don't want to see anyone but you need to let others do things for you while you're in shock. He also added that you should not judge those who can't or won't help because you don't know what they are going through as well.

Good stuff, right? Hope you all had a blessed Lord's Day!



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