We’ve all been in an unfortunate circumstance that brought us to tears. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, financial hardship, being fired from a job, failing an exam, a painful breakup, a deal gone awry, betrayal, public embarrassment, family problems, a health issue, or just plain clinical depression. What makes these events even more painful is that they are mostly unforeseen: they happen suddenly, when we are least prepared against their effects. The fact that we have no control over most of the difficulties in our lives can be extremely devastating.
Sometimes when these unfortunate events happen, we just want to shut out the whole world and cry alone, but usually we seek out those who we feel love us and narrate our experience with them so that they can encourage us with their words. . Unfortunately, most of the things we hear during our difficult period do little to get us out of our situation, and some even make us feel more miserable. Sometimes it’s better to just pet a person while they’re crying or sobbing, without saying a word, or just keep repeating, “Cheer up, cheer up,” than to make some stupid statements. Here are four stupid things people say to a grieving person that do little to get them out of their grief:
- “Just forget it” or “It’s nothing”: This stupid statement is very common. A person has just been betrayed by a trusted friend, or has suffered a public humiliation, and what comes to mind is that it is nothing. You tell them to just forget it. It may not mean anything to you because you’re not in their shoes, but it means something to THEM, so you should respect that. Human beings are programmed to choose the easiest way to solve a problem. If it were that easy to forget, or if it came naturally, that would be our first line of action. They wouldn’t grieve in the first place. I’ve often heard one person say to another after a breakup with someone he loves, “Forget it and move on!” As if it were that easy. We can say this in a different way that would not make a grieving person feel like you are dismissing their problem. Simply put, it’s stupid to ask a person in deep pain to just put the pain aside and get going.
- “You are a man”: So what? Who ever made the rule that a man is never meant to cry? Who stereotyped men as heartless robots? Immediately a man starts showing signs of sadness or distress, people start brandishing this stupid claim. “You are a man. You are not meant to cry!” Say who please. He had a wife, and she died suddenly, leaving him with a little boy and a big hole in his heart. Make him sorry, please. He lost his job in a sudden dismissal and is the head of the family. Why shouldn’t he grieve? He is a man, and he has a heart. If this is all you have to say, he continues to pat you on the back silently. It’s a stupid statement not worth saying.
- “God made it happen”: God and Satan take the blame for much more than they are responsible for. When people misbehave, they blame Satan. When misfortune comes, they blame God. “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away,” they say, resigned. Well, the correct statement is “The Lord gives, Satan steals, kills and destroys”. God did not strike his son with a disease. The Bible says that no one should ever say when a misfortune comes that God is behind his situation, because God is incapable of doing evil (James 1:13). Rather, Satan is responsible for the theft, slaughter, and destruction that abound (John 10:10). He stops blaming God. He is innocent. He encourages the afflicted person to wage battle against the devil and claim victory from him. Does it make sense that God would make you lose your source of livelihood and be begging on the streets? What kind of loving Father would do that? However, God could take a smaller blessing from you to give you a bigger one.
- “You’re Christian”: A Christian is someone who is like Jesus Christ. Which brings me to the question: “Did Jesus grieve when he was on earth?” “He cried?” Yes, he did it. Jesus died when Lazarus died (John 11:35). Jesus was saddened when a group of people did not want him to heal a man with a withered hand (Mark 3:5). The hypocrisy, the stubbornness and the wickedness of his hearts caused injury to Jesus.
And looking around them in anger, saddened by the hardness of their hearts, he says to the man: Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored like the other. (Mark 3:5-6)
Jesus was in severe agony when He prayed in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). He cried out in frustration on the cross when he felt a separation between himself and God (Mark 15:34). Why do we think that Jesus was less human in emotions than we are? David is another example of a great man in the Bible who wept bitterly on a few occasions. When his son Absalom died, he wept bitterly (2 Sam 18:33, 19:4). When his and his soldiers’ wives and children were kidnapped, he and his men cried until they had no more energy to cry (1 Sam 30:3-4). David and his men didn’t come to see their city burned and the women and children taken captive, and he got angry and said, “What nonsense?! Let’s go get these people at once!” First they cried with sore eyes and a hoarse voice. In fact, they were only able to think clearly because they had no more energy to cry. If they had a little more energy to cry, they would definitely have cried a little more. Being a Christian does not mean that humanity is taken away from you. In fact, the Bible commands us to rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those who are sad (Romans 12:15). These are simply examples of so many in the Bible. It is stupid to rebuke a person for suffering simply because he is a Christian.