“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12: 15
Here is a great way to look at what this verse says: “No one has to fix anyone’s pain; we just need to sit with them in it. It cannot be fixed; it can only be healed.” Sitting with someone does not mean that we are silent—it means we don’t try to fix them with clichés, Bible verses, truth or corrections. We validate their hurt and comfort with voice tone and comforting words. After the pain is relieved a little, then hurting people can better hear truth or guidance about what is causing their pain. From Living Lessons on Intimacy with Christ.
When we hurt with someone, and communicate that we’re glad to be with them during their pain instead of trying to fix their pain, it communicates to them that they have great value. When we share their pain, and they don’t have to suffer alone, it teaches them they don’t have to fear pain. Un-comforted pain, un-validated pain that is not considered important by another is the single largest reason people do not mature. Without validation and comfort, people get stuck and stop growing in that area where the pain occurred. Any time someone does not receive what they need, they hurt. Without comfort, they learn to fear pain and then avoid it through addictions.
When you hurt with someone else in their pain, even though you don’t enjoy it, eventually it will help you realize the places you lacked comfort for your own pain. It might bring up some pain that you need validated. You will realize that it really did hurt and you needed someone to hurt with you. As you realize and face your hurts, you will find healing as well.
Sitting with others in their pain without trying to fix them is very comforting and healing. When we experience comfort, either from God or “Jesus with skin on,” (a human person who is with us and helping us) we learn that we are valuable and that pain does not have to be feared, which makes it easier to ask for comfort the next time.
Application: How do you handle others’ pain—are you able to just sit with them without fixing them? Are you learning for yourself that your pain shows how valuable you are? To see the book click here: Living Lessons on Intimacy with Christ.