Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Christian Comfort versus Dismissiveness

It might be just me...cause I'm touchy like that... but do Christians often equate comforting each other with being dismissive about the specific sorrow?

I've seen and heard it so many times: Christian A starts talking about some sorrow; Christian B responds with a platitude that often is aimed to making Christian A feel better -- after all, God is strong and all-- but inevitably the comfort comes off as dismissive.

"Sure you have no house but well, there are people who are sick in the hospital dying."
Well, yes, that is true...but putting the problem in proportion to the general suffering out there doesn't help the sufferer does it? It might make the sufferer feel belittled or it might make the sufferer belittle his own pain as invalid.

What is true comfort?

It is hopeful. It acknowledges the pain of the person. It comes from the mouth of someone who fully understands (or at least tries to appear as if she fully understands) the sufferer's plight. True comfort implies the listener will do something about the situation: namely the listener will go to God and pray and intercede in a very personal caring way about the situation. 
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