Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (NIV)
Grief is hard. Losing a loved one, a treasured pet, a house, or a cherished dream can slice deep. Even when it doesn’t happen to us, but rather to someone we care about.
Have you ever had your own heart-break as you sat and watched someone else’s splinter and shatter into a thousand pieces? What do you do when that happens?
IDEAS ON HOW TO HELP
- Be there. Offer a shoulder to cry on or wrap your friend in a hug. Oftentimes, this will mean more to them than anything else you could do.
- Pray for them. Never underestimate the power of prayer to impact someone’s life or heal their hurt. You might feel powerless to help them, but you can always, always count on God knowing just how to heal them.
- Meet a need. Walk their dog. Vacuum their house. Take them a meal (or if you are culinary-challenged, choose a restaurant gift card instead). If you drive, offer chaffering services (when someone dies, family members sometimes fly into town and might need rides to the funeral, etc.).
- Send Scripture. Through a tweet, a note on their Facebook wall, or best yet, a card or short letter, tell them you love them and that God loves them.Keep asking. You don’t want to push too much, but when the chaos smooths out and real life resumes, that’s when your friend will need you the most. The pain isn’t squelched after just a week. So ask how they’re doing or if they need anything. Often. It means the world to know you remember.
One of the things I love most about Jesus is that He saw people and never shied away from their pain. Showing compassion can make us feel uncomfortable, but it’s always worth shining Christ’s love into hurting lives.
Dear God, my heart breaks for ______ today. I know they’re going through a rough time and I ask that You heal their hurts and show me what I can do to be a blessing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Have you ever been going through a hard time and had someone blow you away with kindness?
Write out an encouraging Scripture (Psalms is a treasure trove!) on a pretty note card and mail it to a friend.
Visit this devo at Rad Revolution:
MORE ABOUT RACHELLE
Rachelle Rea keeps a Smile Box full of notes, letters, cards, and tiny trinkets friends have given her that have touched her heart. Another box holds colorful note cards that are perfect for scribbling Scripture on and sending to hurting hearts. A college sophomore, Rachelle coaches gymnastics at her local YMCA.
For more from Rachelle, visit her atwww.rachellerea.com.
teen photo by: David Castillo Dominici
I’d like you to understand when I say, “God is our God.” Of course he is. Even Satan knows that.
But just knowing this truth isn’t all that being a Christian is about. Mark 8:34 says:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (NIV)
Let’s say there’s a guy that loves you more than you could know, and constantly tells you, but you keep ignoring him because you’re “too busy.” What if he wrote this long love letter that explained how much he cares for you? Not only that, but this letter contains all the answers that you’ll ever need to know in life, including promises for your future.
Why would you ignore this special kind of friendship? In order to follow God we need an intimate relationship with him. Part of that is to find who you are in him. Why would you want this dear friend to only be a small part of your life? Follow him and he will become your everything if you allow him!
I dare you to get to know the friend that loves you no matter how awful you treat him. I dare you to read the love letter that is scratched and dusty, hidden and ignored in the back of your bookshelf. God wrote it to you thousands of years before you were born. Turn your Sunday religion into a true, eternal relationship.
Tessa Hall is a writing and coffee obsessed seventeen-year-old. She lives for Christ only and believes that it’s not just a religion, but a relationship. Her Young Adult, Christian fiction contemporary novel, Purple Moon, is currently under contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She also writes a blog called “Christ is Write” where she posts teen devotions, writing tips, book reviews, author interviews, and coffee recipes.
Tessa has always enjoyed writing and has a passion to spread God’s healing, love, and comfort to her peers through the written word. Some of her other passions include acting, film, music, photography, and dance. She has big dreams and high hopes for her future, but believes that God can grant the desires of her heart as long as she puts Him first. Her favorite scripture is Ecclesiastes 11:9 (MSG): “You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.”
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“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 NIV)
“Do not go about spreading slander among your people.” (Leviticus 19:16 NIV)
“But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” (Mathew 12:36 NIV)
Tears stream down your face onto your pillow as you lay in bed. “How could they do this?” you think. Pulling out your phone and reading the text again, it hits you: the people you trust most told lies about you behind your back.
This recently happened to me with a close friend in my youth group. We were on a mission trip, but I got sick and had to leave early. When the rest of the group got home, friends of mine were mad at me because of things my friend told them about me. All of the things she said were nowhere close to the truth. My friends wouldn’t hang out with me because of lies that were told.
The Bible specifically says, multiple times, not to lie about your neighbors. If God thought it was important enough to say over and over again, we should listen. Each and every one of us is a loved child of God. Would you want someone going around telling lies about your child and hurting them? Well, God doesn’t either. In fact, Mathew 12:36 says, “But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
Gossip and lies hurt everyone involved, including God. One day we are going to stand before God for judgment. With that in mind, my challenge to you is to not slander one another,, but to love each other as Christ loves.
I’m Haley Faye Snyder. I’m 14 years old and a freshman in high school. I’ve lived in the same Christian home in Kentucky since I was born. I have one little brother and two loving parents. I go to Westport Baptist church and have my whole life. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was six and then re-committed my life to Him when… (read more…)
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According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teens.
Furthermore, the NIMH believes that as many as 25 suicides are attempted for every one that is completed. Think about it—that means for every teen who commits suicide, 25 others attempt unsuccessfully to take their lives.
Obviously, teen suicide is a real problem, but it’s a preventable one. Be proactive! If you or someone you know begins exhibiting the following warning signs of teen suicide, take action! Seek help (See resources at the bottom of this article) if you’re the one struggling, or if you identify a friend at school who is at risk, let your school counselor, your pastor, or another trusted adult know.
Here are those warning signs, according to “Teen Suicide” (Ohio State University Medical Center, Ohio State University Online).
- Disinterest in favorite extracurricular activities
- Problems at work and losing interest in a job
- Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug (illegal and legal drugs) use
- Behavioral problems
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Sleep changes
- Changes in eating habits
- Begins to neglect hygiene and other matters of personal appearance
- Emotional distress brings on physical complaints (aches, fatigues, migraines)
- Hard time concentrating and paying attention
- Declining grades in school
- Loss of interest in schoolwork
- Risk taking behaviors
- Complains more frequently of boredom
- Does not respond as before to praise
Also, if you overhear another student say something like, “I just want to die,” or “I won’t bother anyone ever again”—take those comments seriously because they just might be valid cries for help. It’s better to error on the side of caution by alerting an adult than to simply ignore the comments and hope for the best.
You Are A Treasure
Suicide is never the answer. Every person—including you, no matter how badly you may be feeling about yourself this very moment—is a precious treasure. Have you ever heard the expression, “God doesn’t make any junk?” It’s really true! You were created by Almighty God in His very image. You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! He adores you, and Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He has a good plan for your life, so hang on! Take time today and meditate on how much God loves you. The bible says that He loves you with an everlasting love. And, He promises to never leave you. He will walk with you through every negative circumstance and celebrate with you over every victory. And, there are victories in your future because you are a winner. Remind yourself of that daily! In fact, it wouldn’t hurt you to say it out loud right now—I am a winner!
Resources to Remember
If you are feeling hopeless today, or if you know someone who might be contemplating suicide, check out the following resources for more information.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
- Deaf Hotline: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Covenant House Nineline: 1-800-999-9999
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award winning author of over 35 children’s books and hundreds of articles. Michelle teaches at Christian Writers Conferences, mentors new and established writers and is the Content Editor for iBegat.com. She lives in Indiana with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Abby Adams (left) is iBegat.com’s Dear Abby and Ally Adams is our fashion expert. Visit Michelle at www.michellemedlockadams.com
Secrets; we all have them. Some are buried deep in our hearts where no one knows about them except God. Some secrets we can’t keep to ourselves so we share them with someone close. Often we share our deepest or most embarrassing secrets with our best friends because we trust them. Most secrets are not supposed to be shared such as who your friend has a crush on, the details of their last dream, or who they secretly want to go with to the prom.
People think a person isn’t a true friend unless they keep their friend’s secrets. That’s not true. There are circumstances when a friend must a serious secret that involves your friend being hurt or hurting someone else.
Here are a handful of examples: when they are being abused in any way, practicing self mutilation, is depressed, being threatened, using drugs or alcohol illegally, or attempting suicide. In all of these cases your friend has a dangerous secret and needs help. You must be willing to put your friendship on the line; even if it destroys your friendship, it could save their life, so in the end it would be worth it. If you are harboring some one’s dangerous secret, tell a trusted adult.
Your friend may not appreciate it now, but someday they will be grateful for your intervention.