If TV commercials were any indication of our normal, everyday life then we would all be having a warm, loving, fun Christmas season filled with good food, laughter, the excitement of shopping and the expectation of gifts.
For someone struggling, the Christmas holiday can feel like a burdensome task of trying to make merry when the heart is sick. If you know someone who is struggling, please be careful with your words and actions. We can inconvenience ourselves in the name of love, can’t we?
I found this article (link below) about encouragement that you may find helpful. I’ve added a few tips below of my own.
In addition, if you are attempting to encourage someone who is struggling:
- Before you attempt to encourage someone who may be down, don’t say something that you wouldn’t want to hear yourself. For example, if someone is struggling with finding a job, don’t start suggesting jobs, especially if it’s work that you wouldn’t want to do yourself! He or she is already looking for work; don’t make the situation feel hopeless.
- Along the same lines, don’t offer advice at all unless it’s solicited, or unless the person is clearly sinning or in danger.
- Don’t attempt to encourage by detailing how you overcame your own sorrow, unless you are making it clear how the person can use the advice for his or her own good. For example, if someone has lost a loved one recently, letting them know about your own loss is fine, but don’t hastily follow it up with how it will get better with time, or any other pat response. She’s hurting now. Hurt with her for a while (see Romans 12:15).
- And, following from above, don’t gloss over someone’s hurt by attempting instant cheerfulness:
“Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.” Prov 25:20 NASB
I sincerely wish you all a Merry Christmas. And, if it doesn’t seem so merry, (believe me I understand) remember (as I’m trying to remember!) that this too shall pass.* Drop me a comment below, or if you’d like a private response, fill out the Contact Form . Thank you for reading. [Edit: Contact me on Facebook instead. Comments and the Contact Form have been removed for now].