We should have compassion with a friend who is troubled

Last updated on April 20, 2021

How to share the Gospel with a friend who is not interested?

“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” (Job 6:14)

Job’s life is the perfect example of misery: he used to be rich and respected by everybody, but God gave Satan permission to take all his possessions and even his children and health. Job was left bereaved and despised. Then his friends showed up “to show him sympathy and comfort him.” (Job 2:11) That was a good thing to do.

In the letter to the Colossians, Christians are called to put on “compassionate hearts.” (Colossians 3:12) Doing so reflects the character of God Himself, who is “compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:11) Especially when our friends are troubled and desperate, we need to be there for them. For “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

The story of Job makes clear that our physical presence alone is not enough to be a good friend. Job’s friends judged him and claimed that his misery must have been the result of some sin. They did not show compassion. They did not really pay attention to Job’s complaints. Their heartless words made his suffering even worse.

Do you know how to be a good friend to someone who is troubled?

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