PDA

View Full Version : Canned Respones to Suffering



Uncle Bud
Mar 3rd 2010, 02:52 PM
People often use Proverbs 3:5 and Romans 11:33 as a response to suffering. I have heard and read people say things like "God is not obligated to explain Himself" and "God is not accountable to man". This is usually made in response to suffering, such as the death of a child or spouse, financial reverses, loss of a job, lingering illness, accidents, catastrophes, etc.

I find such "canned answers" to be disgusting. They only add to the pain the person is going through and adds fuel to the anger and bitterness the person may already have towards God.

bc3n1
Mar 3rd 2010, 02:59 PM
I would say that this is typical of taking one verse out of context and using it in error. Just as Peter told the Lord that our Lord would not be taken and crucified. Would you say this is taking the letter of the law and leaving out the (S)spirit?

CaptainM
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:01 PM
I couldn't agree more, Gilligan. Nothing about those responses fills a hurting soul with joy and ends their pain. Especially a non-believer. Why we would ever give such a distasteful answer to someone who is in great pain is beyond me. Sure there are times in which we should give law and not grace but I believe our speech should be seasoned with salt.

Those "canned answers" come from people who mostly don't really know what they're talking about, and really just know enough to be dangerous. They are a hindrance to the good seed someone else may be planting in their life and a thorn in the flesh of compassionate Christian living.

Uncle Bud
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:33 PM
I couldn't agree more, Gilligan. Nothing about those responses fills a hurting soul with joy and ends their pain. Especially a non-believer. Why we would ever give such a distasteful answer to someone who is in great pain is beyond me. Sure there are times in which we should give law and not grace but I believe our speech should be seasoned with salt.

Those "canned answers" come from people who mostly don't really know what they're talking about, and really just know enough to be dangerous. They are a hindrance to the good seed someone else may be planting in their life and a thorn in the flesh of compassionate Christian living.
Good Point. I think those types of responses is the reason some people turn away from God and become atheists.

HisLeast
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:11 PM
I think anyone coming with a canned answer is demonstrating that they don't really care. In my life, the people I've drawn the most strength from in my hours of need were people who quietly sat in the puddle right next to mine.

Frances
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:26 PM
A good example of someone opening their mouth and putting their foot in it!!
We live in a fallen world, of course bad things are going to happen, but God is compassionate and willing to give His Peace to those who suffer - when they come to Him in their need . . .

goykodesh
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:43 PM
I've found that in my trials and 'suffering,' the extent of my faith has been revealed to me. It allowed me to grow and strengthen. Shallow roots can not weather a storm. Some of my circumstances God allowed, well I'll never know the real reason for it - and what He intented to show me. But even though I am oblivious to something doesn't mean it's intent and effect actually happened. I just thank God He cares for me enough not to ignore me.

Firefighter
Mar 4th 2010, 12:50 PM
I counseled a woman in my church who's husband had been arrested for getting a striptease and sex from a 5 year old. There was nothing I could say. We cried together, we prayed together.

I still have a problem wrapping my head around the situation (the parents were present and had pimped her out). What can you say!?!? Honesty is always the best policy, and in this case, I just didn't know...

Slug1
Mar 4th 2010, 05:06 PM
I think anyone coming with a canned answer is demonstrating that they don't really care. In my life, the people I've drawn the most strength from in my hours of need were people who quietly sat in the puddle right next to mine.HA!! I can relate to this and ya really know those who care because when I splash them with the water from my puddle, they continue to help. Later, if they splash me with their water, I help them.

Crosstalk
Mar 5th 2010, 01:35 AM
There's an interesting post here on the home page about this subject.

http://bibleforums.org/content.php?51-So-Your-Friend-Is-Grieving

Reynolds357
Mar 5th 2010, 01:41 AM
Slightly off topic, but still in the general area of discussion would be what is said at the funerals of many Children. You will hear more trash from the pulpit at the funeral of a child than I can stand.

HisLeast
Mar 5th 2010, 02:17 AM
Slightly off topic, but still in the general area of discussion would be what is said at the funerals of many Children. You will hear more trash from the pulpit at the funeral of a child than I can stand.

For real? Like what kind of stuff?

Equipped_4_Love
Mar 5th 2010, 03:13 AM
People often use Proverbs 3:5 and Romans 11:33 as a response to suffering. I have heard and read people say things like "God is not obligated to explain Himself" and "God is not accountable to man". This is usually made in response to suffering, such as the death of a child or spouse, financial reverses, loss of a job, lingering illness, accidents, catastrophes, etc.

I find such "canned answers" to be disgusting. They only add to the pain the person is going through and adds fuel to the anger and bitterness the person may already have towards God.

Hmmm.....sounds a lot like Bildad's diatribe in the book of Job.

Freek
Mar 5th 2010, 06:21 PM
For real? Like what kind of stuff?

Like, "God wanted this cute flower for His garden in heaven and He took him." or something along that line.

moonglow
Mar 5th 2010, 07:27 PM
I was reading a news article today about the teenager that was raped and murdered..her body just recently found and one of the students at her school..a 16 year old said, God must had a plan for her and must have wanted her to come home early.:o Obviously she hadn't thought that through. God doesn't plan someone be raped and murdered! But this girl was just sixteen...

The fact is we live in a sin fallen world where bad things will happen because people..not God...chose to do bad things.

I don't know think people don't care when they say things like this..I think they do..but truly don't have the answers so try to invent one.

God bless

Freek
Mar 5th 2010, 08:24 PM
I was reading a news article today about the teenager that was raped and murdered..her body just recently found and one of the students at her school..a 16 year old said, God must had a plan for her and must have wanted her to come home early.:o Obviously she hadn't thought that through. God doesn't plan someone be raped and murdered! But this girl was just sixteen...

The fact is we live in a sin fallen world where bad things will happen because people..not God...chose to do bad things.

I don't know think people don't care when they say things like this..I think they do..but truly don't have the answers so try to invent one.

God bless

Unfortunately, Satan is alive and well on Planet Earth. He is killing stealing and destroying.

Servant89
Mar 6th 2010, 12:16 AM
We are people talking about other people, especially pastors, that according to us, are more evil or more foolish than us.

When we step on, and stand on other people, it makes us feel taller, but it really makes us smaller from God's point of view.

Shalom

Firefighter
Mar 6th 2010, 12:24 AM
We are people talking about other people, especially pastors, that according to us, are more evil or more foolish than us.

When we step on, and stand on other people, it makes us feel taller, but it really makes us smaller from God's point of view.

Shalom

I will make sure to tell Paul that when I see him... ;)

Titus 1:10-13 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

RevLogos
Mar 6th 2010, 03:17 AM
I know suffering. When someone is suffering greatly, what will eventually happen is they begin to lose hope. When they lose hope, they begin to die spiritually. Even those strong of faith have a breaking point. The Bible says God will never give us something we can't handle. But I tell you, God will sometimes take it to the harry edge.

The answer, the only answer, is love. Step in their puddle, be there for them, love them. Not words, not rationalizations, not doctrine, but pure love.

Because love breeds hope and hope strengthens. God is love after all.

Equipped_4_Love
Mar 6th 2010, 03:46 AM
I know suffering. When someone is suffering greatly, what will eventually happen is they begin to lose hope. When they lose hope, they begin to die spiritually. Even those strong of faith have a breaking point. The Bible says God will never give us something we can't handle. But I tell you, God will sometimes take it to the harry edge.

The answer, the only answer, is love. Step in their puddle, be there for them, love them. Not words, not rationalizations, not doctrine, but pure love.

Because love breeds hope and hope strengthens. God is love after all.

This is very wise and godly counsel.

When someone is in the midst of enormous turmoil and suffering, a lot of times, love and compassion are the most valuable thing you can give. The truth is, none of us know why God allows things to happen sometimes....and just because someone has gone through something doesn't mean they automatically know why another person is going through it.

Servant89
Mar 6th 2010, 02:02 PM
I will make sure to tell Paul that when I see him... ;)

Titus 1:10-13 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

I love it when people do that to me., I stand corrected. You are right. I was wrong. THANK YOU!!!!

Shalom

Athanasius
Mar 6th 2010, 02:18 PM
People often use Proverbs 3:5 and Romans 11:33 as a response to suffering. I have heard and read people say things like "God is not obligated to explain Himself" and "God is not accountable to man". This is usually made in response to suffering, such as the death of a child or spouse, financial reverses, loss of a job, lingering illness, accidents, catastrophes, etc.

I find such "canned answers" to be disgusting. They only add to the pain the person is going through and adds fuel to the anger and bitterness the person may already have towards God.

I heard it said that if you give a man a "why," he'll be able to withstand most suffering, as long as he knows there's a reason. Take away that why, and the knowledge that there's a reason, and even the smallest amount of suffering will become unbearable. I think that's very true. Unfortunately, I think the why is almost impossible to acertain. And I think it's because the best we might ever do - this side of eternity - is come up with a few reasons for suffering in general, but never specific reasons for personal suffering. Like RevLogo, I think the only answer is love. Focusing on the love of God, and experiencing the love of others (hopefully). But I do think a lot of people really don't care for the answer to why we suffer, because it's offensive, and because we don't think we should be responsible... and we are.

EarlyCall
Mar 6th 2010, 02:33 PM
People often use Proverbs 3:5 and Romans 11:33 as a response to suffering. I have heard and read people say things like "God is not obligated to explain Himself" and "God is not accountable to man". This is usually made in response to suffering, such as the death of a child or spouse, financial reverses, loss of a job, lingering illness, accidents, catastrophes, etc.

I find such "canned answers" to be disgusting. They only add to the pain the person is going through and adds fuel to the anger and bitterness the person may already have towards God.

I haven't read any of the other posts yet, but will go back and skim through them after I respond.

On the one hand, I agree, but if one reads JOB carefully, they will discover that is pretty much the response God gave to Job in the end. Essentially God, said to Job, I am God and I do as I please and I am not required to explain myself to anyone for anything. So there is absolute truth in the statements you hate so much. However, they offer little to no comfort to the suffering. And as for any comfort for Job when God spoke to him, well, his comfort was definitely in a personal audience with God. Few have ever experienced such as did Job.

But I think it serves no good purpose nor does it bring any comfort to one suffering to try and explain it with soft replies that also are empty. In the end, the one suffering will be best served by us if we come along side and are simply there for them, encourage to what extent we can, support in any way we can and most of all, seriously contend for them in real and serious prayer. Quick little prayers offered as a passing thought mean little to nothing to God - anymore than such a thing would to us. But real prayer makes the difference.

Uncle Bud
Mar 6th 2010, 03:16 PM
I haven't read any of the other posts yet, but will go back and skim through them after I respond.

On the one hand, I agree, but if one reads JOB carefully, they will discover that is pretty much the response God gave to Job in the end. Essentially God, said to Job, I am God and I do as I please and I am not required to explain myself to anyone for anything. So there is absolute truth in the statements you hate so much. However, they offer little to no comfort to the suffering. And as for any comfort for Job when God spoke to him, well, his comfort was definitely in a personal audience with God. Few have ever experienced such as did Job.

But I think it serves no good purpose nor does it bring any comfort to one suffering to try and explain it with soft replies that also are empty. In the end, the one suffering will be best served by us if we come along side and are simply there for them, encourage to what extent we can, support in any way we can and most of all, seriously contend for them in real and serious prayer. Quick little prayers offered as a passing thought mean little to nothing to God - anymore than such a thing would to us. But real prayer makes the difference.

Good Points. Job was already a believer in the first place. But someone who is an unbeliever or weak in faith, just telling them "God can do what He pleases" will only alienate them from God and turn away in disgust.

EarlyCall
Mar 6th 2010, 03:30 PM
Good Points. Job was already a believer in the first place. But someone who is an unbeliever or weak in faith, just telling them "God can do what He pleases" will only alienate them from God and turn away in disgust.

I don't know how it could do anything other than that.

We have to tread very lightly and walk softly when we deal with someone that is hurting or suffering, because it is in the end very arrogant and prideful on our part to speak for God - as though we somehow are privy to His thoughts and motives.

I think what we often see is sinful pride rising up in a person and it comes through in them trying to elevate themselves to importance by having something to say. And then sometimes it is a desire to help and ignorance - both at work at once.

We need to be very careful.

Equipped_4_Love
Mar 6th 2010, 04:25 PM
I heard it said that if you give a man a "why," he'll be able to withstand most suffering, as long as he knows there's a reason. Take away that why, and the knowledge that there's a reason, and even the smallest amount of suffering will become unbearable. I think that's very true. Unfortunately, I think the why is almost impossible to acertain. And I think it's because the best we might ever do - this side of eternity - is come up with a few reasons for suffering in general, but never specific reasons for personal suffering. Like RevLogo, I think the only answer is love. Focusing on the love of God, and experiencing the love of others (hopefully). But I do think a lot of people really don't care for the answer to why we suffer, because it's offensive, and because we don't think we should be responsible... and we are.

The thing is, there is alway a reason, although we do not always know or understand it. I really believe that is where faith comes in. We have to trust that God knows the reason why, and that He is in control, and that all things are truly working together for the ultimate good -- for our best. To understand suffering absent from God is confusing and no doubt disparaging....but as long as we know that there is a God who does know the reasons for our suffering, we can at least accept it.

Of course, when someone is in the midst of intense tibulation, the fact that everything is working out for good isn't always well-understood or received. The only thing we can do is weep with them, encourage them, but most of all, PRAY!!!