Something came up in Sunday school, a fellow soul whose heart is hurting, crying for some relief, afraid that life only be filled with this continuing struggle. Of course advice was given to help this person because there is always somebody who feels they have to say something helpful. Sure it was sound advise, it all “meant well,” but I think the hurting heart needed to hear something different. More like, the heart needed to be heard. Some subjects are so complex that what’s needed is NOT more advice, more rules to be followed, more words to be remembered, more work to do…but to be acknowledged and told “I understand, I’m here for you, and I won’t leave you.”
Let’s try to remember that it’s not always advice that people need when they are hurting…not for you to fix their feelings or problems or way of thinking. That just makes a person feel worse, as if they are bothersome or weak or wrong.
More often, a person just needs someone to listen.