We have assurance that the God of all comfort comforts us, and He will do so in the exact right way we need. However, in our efforts to bestow His comfort on others, we might unwittingly become miserable comforters to others. This often happens, I believe, with good intentions by well-meaning people when they try to assign a reason for what happens, when really it’s something only God knows. Thus, we become like Job’s friends: miserable comforters (Job 16:2).
THINGS NOT TO SAY IN TIMES OF SORROW AND LOSS:
“This is all part of God’s plan/God’s will.” “I guess it was his time to go.” “God needed another angel.” “I know exactly how you feel.” (Comparing losses does not help.) “Everything happens for a reason.” “Time heals all wounds.” “Be strong for your family.” As a general rule, don’t say anything that will bring up more questions than really give comfort. Think about the golden rule (Matt. 7:12). What would you want someone to say to you?
THINGS YOU DEFINITELY CAN SAY:
“I am so sorry for your loss.” “I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now.” “There is not one of us who can say something that will make your hurt go away.” “I care so much for you.” “I want you to know I will be going before God’s throne to talk to Him about your hurt.” (And do it!) “The Bible reminds us that, ‘God is near to the brokenhearted.’” “You are so loved.” That is a comfort that will make a difference (1 Thess. 4:18)!