Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Do We Minister to Others?

By Andrea Merrell

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  
He comforts us in all our troubles 
so that we can comfort others.
When they are troubled, we will be able to give them
the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I sat in awkward silence as she poured out her story of pain and betrayal. The battle going on inside me was in not knowing whether to offer advice and encouragement or remain silent.

It’s much easier to be busy and stay away from people going through serious issues, but they need someone to care. Someone to listen. Someone to simply be there.

So, how do we know what to do? How do we effectively minister to others?

We might take a lesson from Job’s friends. Even though they didn’t offer the best advice, when they first arrived at Job’s side, they sat with him in complete silence for seven days. Their presence was Job’s comfort. The fact that they considered the plight of their friend more important than anything else was Job’s consolation. These men put His needs above their own.

What I’ve learned is that the best gift we can give someone in distress is to just be there. We can give advice when asked for it, but the most important thing we can do might be holding a hand while our friend cries and letting her know we love her.

I’ve heard it said that God does not comfort us so we can be comfortable, but so that we can comfort others. Be led by the Spirit and reach out to someone who needs you.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Master Isolated Images.)