What Not To Say To Someone Who Is Suffering – Des Ford

Mar 30, 2015 2451

child cryingThere is no ‘easy’ answer to the why of tragedy. I would warn every sufferer against some of the pat answers.

It has been said, ‘Well, trouble is good for building a strong character.’ There is some truth in this statement, but we have to acknowledge that many troubles sour, rather than sanctify. Not all trouble is sanctifying. We cannot say it is all character building, though in a measure that is true. Without trouble our characters would deteriorate.

Neither must we ever say, ‘Well, he or she must have done something terrible, and it’s catching up.’ That’s the most hoary fable about pain and tragedy that’s ever been perpetuated. One of the books in the Bible, the book of Job, explodes that one. Job was a perfect man, says the first chapter, yet look at all his troubles. The Sabeans drove off his oxen and his asses, the Chaldeans stole his camels, the house collapsed on his children, and he was afflicted with boils-this perfect man of the East!

Never say that all trouble comes on a person as a result of his or her sins. It is true that all trouble is a result of sin. But is it not also true that we often suffer for other people’s sins, there is such a thing as vicarious suffering in our world, and many of the great sufferers of history have been blameless.

Neither should we say, ‘If only they had enough faith they could be healed.’ That is a terrible blasphemy when we have a Bible that speaks of the greatest of the apostles, who asked three times that the ‘thorn in the flesh’ might be removed, only to be told that God’s grace would be sufficient for him.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (From “How to Survive Personal Tragedy”)

Mezgebe Berhe

Apr 20, 2015

practically true, well balanced answers to the question of suffering!


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