What do you do when your dear friend’s marriage of 30 years just broke up because her husband ran off with a 28 year old beautiful blonde? Or your sweet friend, whose son is a homosexual involved in a “same sex marriage”, is truly embarrassed for what her “Christian” friends will say and stopped going to church? Or the friend who is married to an alcoholic, and she has stood by her husband who constantly verbally abuses her?
Do we judge them? Do we snicker and run to tell our other friends about their situation?
Or … do we pray for them, stand by them and just be there for them?
I mean, really. Unfortunately, sometimes decisions the other person in the “scenario” makes choices that we have no control over. People have “free will” and “free choice.” Sometimes these unfortunate things or relationships happen to good people, and are truly out of their control. The world we live in is quick to “judge”, but truly we never know what goes on behind closed doors… we usually don’t know the “whole” story. And, in fact, it’s not our business to know! But the truth is, God had a plan! God uses everything, good and bad, for His plan and most times, God does not consult us about His plans.
God is all-knowing, all-seeing, and ever-present, so He knows when someone we know, or someone we love, is headed for a fall even before it happens. While it may seem like we are helpless, there are some things that we can do:
- Pray. Pray often, and pray for those who have been hurt by someone. Pray for their comfort, peace and rest. Pray for your co-worker who has the 21-year old that is addicted to crack cocaine and has been in and out of jail more times than we know, or that neighbor who just found out her husband has Stage IV lung cancer. And if you can muster the courage, pray for the person who has wronged another.
- Trust God. God can move mountains and do anything that He chooses to do – and remember, “God is in control.” The heartaches and the challenges our friends are experiencing in their lives, God will use for His glory and the good of His people.
- God’s Timing Is Not Our Timing. Sometimes the challenges in someone’s life are the consequences of choices made by someone else. Sometimes it may be part of a larger plan that God has set into motion. This brings us back to the previous point… TRUST GOD – He knows the plan, and He designed the plan… it will all work out.
- God Never Said Life Would be Easy or There Would Be No Suffering. God never promised life would be easy, and it would be a life free of suffering. But, God gives us help when we need it – and He will give your good friend comfort too. So you can take heart, that He will help the woman who just lost her home due to her husband’s gambling addiction also.
- Be a Friend In Need. Don’t bail on your friend or family member going through a hardship or a crisis just because it “doesn’t look pretty.” Be there for her in her time of need. You don’t have to talk, just be there and listen. Take her out for a cup of coffee or a funny movie, so she can forget her troubles for a couple of hours.
- Don’t Be Quick to Judge. Don’t judge! That’s God’s job, not ours. That’s not doing anyone a service, especially the person in the difficult situation. People don’t need any more judgment this day and age; they need comfort, peace and a friend in their time of need!
The Bible tell us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) ESV
Let’s not be quick to judge. Have you heard the saying, “Before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes.” (Anonymous) I think there’s lots of truth in that saying!
One of my all- time favorite Christian speaker/ teacher, Joyce Meyer, sums it up, I think, perfectly, “Before you judge someone else, stop and think about all that God has forgiven you for.”
Simply put? Thank goodness for Amazing Grace…
Until next time – your friend,