Here is an excerpt from a blog that I read almost daily. This portion is about dropping truth bombs. I’ve never called it a truth bomb but its appropriate.
Don’t drop truth bombs. We mentioned earlier that studying the deep things of God is essential to growing as a gospel counselor. As your understanding of the gospel and the God of the Scriptures deepens you strengthen your own spiritual mooring for when personal tragedy may come your way. A common pitfall can be using the knowledge you have gained in study to be a comfort to someone that is in the valley of deep sorrow and grief. As an example, there may be someone grieving the loss of someone very close to them – they are weeping and distraught. This would not be a good time for someone to come in and remind the hurting person that God is sovereign and that this is happening for their good. Those things are true. Those things are right. And at some point, those things are likely going to help comfort the grieving person. But the most felt need for the hurting person is likely not a good theology reminder – it is someone that will weep with them – someone that will crawl into the dark parts of their pain and experience it with them. A great biblical example of this can be found in the gospel of John. Jesus encounters two women that are deeply grieved by the loss of their brother, Lazarus. Not only are they immensely sad that their brother is gone, they are also angry with God for not doing anything about his waning health sooner. This story sounds like a great deal of scenarios that a gospel counselor may encounter today, doesn’t it? In the Scriptures we see Jesus do something interesting. Once these women display their pain and agony it says that He was ‘deeply moved in His spirit’ and he weeps. Think about that for a moment. Isn’t that crazy? Especially for the ones of us that know the rest of the story. In a few minutes Lazarus is going to walk out of the grave and be fine. Jesus knows that. He knows that He is about to flex His divine muscles and demonstrate His authority over death. He knows that Mary and Martha’s tears are going to be irrelevant in just a few short minutes. He knows that. But instead of shutting down their pain or trying to make them feel better, He weeps. Why in the world do you think that is? I think Jesus knew exactly what those women needed in that moment. They didn’t just need a God that was sovereign; they needed a God that cared about them and would enter their pain with them.
The reality is that truth doesn’t stop being true just because you don’t say it. You don’t have to feel the pressure to make sure everyone you counsel has perfect theology when they are experiencing major suffering. Theology is often strengthened when it follows the deep pain of suffering that allows it access to the heart. Enter their pain before you do anything else.
This is so relevant to every Christian. Christians are so quick to justify or try to remove pain, sorrow and confusion by stating “it was Gods will/plan,” when many hurting people just want someone to show they care. They want someone to support them and pray WITH THEM (not for them-hearing someone’s prayers over you is a powerful thing).
We’ve had some pretty steep hills and valleys at the church I’m service at currently. We’ve had some hurt people, loss of attendance, worn out people and more. But we also have good people, faithful people and strong people rise up from the rest and carry the group along. We’ve had sickness and in the last month, the death of a strong sister who battled for years with cancer.
Her passing was sorrowful and joyful.
We’ve recently had to suspend the evening services due to a need to refocus.
And in all of that, people are sorrowful, fearful, and sad. Truth bombs do not help. Much to the dismay of avid “Christians,” they actually hurt. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, to cry with and to sit by. Those actions help people heal. They help people deal with situations and allow God to mend their wounds. Don’t be a truth bomber.