Have you ever listened to someone else’s suffering and thought, “That’s not as bad as mine.”
Warning: there is some true talk coming up. It’s the not so pretty side of me, the selfish side rearing its ugly head. It happens a lot more than I would like to admit. But if I’m going to get anywhere with it, admit it I must.
I’m gonna be flat out honest. I lean towards ‘buck up or shut up’ when it comes to dealing with others in pain. And comforting others in adversity can be difficult at times.
My mom raised me with the kind of tough love that gave me a pot and closed the door when I had the stomach flu. She held me in the night when I needed her most. But, she did not cater to the whiney day time calls of minute to minute needs. I am thankful for my mom; she raised a woman who can power through some emotional pain when necessary. But, that means I would like us to power through your emotional pain, as well. So when I hear of a struggle different than my own, whew, Heaven help me show a little compassion here.
Sometimes I forget Jesus was nailed to a cross.
Among other terrible things that happened to him that day, I tend to forget these facts when I go to him with my struggles and let him know they are major deals.
If Jesus looked to me the way I look to others with the same disdain, if He gave me the same silent ‘buck up or shut up’ speech, would I continue to come to him day in, day out?
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:18
He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.Psalm 147:3
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.John 14:27
I can’t find a buck up or shut up verse in the Bible.
Well, maybe there’s a little of this in Luke 10:30-35. The Priests and Levites flat out ignore someone’s pain by crossing to the other side of the road. They basically tell the man in pain to buck up and shut up by walking away. My modern day road crossing looks a little like a distant emoji response or hours of that … silence to someone’s text. Insert buck up or shut up response in my head here. Or even thoughts of how someone else’s pain isn’t nearly as difficult as what I’ve seen. Luke’s passage tells of a compassionate stranger who helps the one in pain. Not the friends or church people, but a stranger is the most compassionate.
God comes close in our struggles, our pain, our grief. He doesn’t judge it. Pain is pain. My struggle is different than yours. But our pain is the same.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.Galations 6:2
… the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I’m working on this comforting those in any trouble … in ANY trouble. Not just the trouble I deem worthy. Any trouble, because I have been comforted by a God who gets it. He gets it and still stoops low to me and comforts me. He is a God who comforts all of the pains, anxieties, worries, hurts, and daily tears. And he does it over and over without question of when am I going to just get over it.
He is the God of all comfort.
And he is teaching selfish me what it looks like to carry and comfort like I have been comforted.