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Offer comfort (09/24/2006)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

Have we ever seen someone who looked depressed? Of course. We see them at our workplace, shopping centers, grocery stores, libraries - everywhere.

What are we doing and saying to comfort a depressed person? Do we indifferently pass them by without a thought about comforting them? Wouldn't God expect us to offer some comfort? Wouldn't we expect and want others to console us if we were in a depressed state? Could we fathom Biblical Christians passing us by if they knew we were depressed?

Are we doing anything about turning a frown into a smile? If the persons wearing the frowns were us, wouldn't it uplift our spirits to have a concerned person bring us some honest-to-God comfort? Of course, especially when we realize that this person is genuinely concerned about us. It wouldn't take us very long to realize if someone is just a prying snoop, just a scoundrel who doesn't give a hoot about our distressful situation.

How can we help someone who is depressed? How can we break the ice? We don't need ambassadorial skills; we only need an unfeigned willingness to help. We could simply say, "You look a bit troubled. Can we talk with you? We really would like to help." Shame on us if we think this: "Well, I just don't have the time! The down and dejected will just have to go it alone. I can't help everybody!" The least we can do is give the person our church's phone number and the phone number of someone who would be willing to help.

We may not be able to always bring immediate comfort, but we can lighten the load by letting this person know that we are truly concerned and that they can call upon us at any time. We could ask the person if he or she would mind if we called him or her. Having a concerned person talk with us in time of trial should bring us some relief. If we were the depressed individuals, wouldn't it be comforting to know there was a sincere individual willing to see us through a difficult time?

May we always take the initiative to offer aid, comfort and encouragement to those who are in need and not (unconcernedly) leave it up to someone else. Someone else may never come or may come too late.

When we see someone who looks heavy-hearted, let's do what God would want us to do - befriend such a person and offer comfort.

Ponder James 4:17, II Corinthians 1:3-4 


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