Trying not to say the wrong thing

Last night I was reflecting on what gives us the confidence to show compassion, to love, to walk into a difficult situation without feeling like our presence is futile. There is always the hesitancy that I might not know what to say or do. This hesitancy is something that I struggle with every time I know I’m going into a situation where someone is suffering. I want to do and say the right thing, something that is helpful, that will give hope, that will lead to healing. In fact, I would give nearly anything to do that. But how can one know what to say? I am not a brilliant philosopher or poet. As a result, emotionally, it can sometimes be easier just to not say anything, not enter in at all, because then I would know that I didn’t say the wrong thing.
But that response is unacceptable. It is self-serving. Not entering in is not an option.
So I meditated on Jesus.
He entered in for us.
He sacrificed for us.
When we merited judgement, He took it on Himself on the cross.
When I was an orphan, He adopted me.
When I’m weak, He is strong.
His Spirit lives within me.
That is the hope that I have. That is the only way I can enter in with confidence. That is the only way I can have compassion.
When I was getting ready to call a friend who was suffering, my temptation was to plan out a few sentences, in fact, to plan out the entire conversation, in order to alleviate my anxiety; my fear that I may say or do something wrong.
Instead, I prayed and trusted that the Holy Spirit was in me, was going before me, and would work through the conversation if I was willing to listen and follow.
I don’t know if that is helpful to you, but it is helpful to me.

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