Helping a Friend

By Marjorie F. Eddington

Categories: Friendship, Relationships


I have a friend who is having a hard time on her home life, and I don't know what to do?

Response (staff answer):

As a friend, you can be a great listener, a sounding board, a safe place for her to work through the issues confronting her. You can offer comfort, remind her to listen to God’s direction, and even pray with her. You can help her see her own innate goodness and realize that she can be the change she wants to see in her home. We only have control over our own thoughts, actions, and reactions. We can work to be our best selves. We can express love, regardless of what others do.

We can do this by turning to God in deep, heartfelt prayer. We open ourselves up to God to hear God’s voice, God’s view, God’s direction. If we really want to help in an effective way, we can’t rely on human opinions, which, by definition are limited. They may indeed be helpful, but they could also be misleading or harmful. We could also get caught up in all the fears and drama of the human situation, which can get pretty scary or depressing.

But there’s always a way through or out of trouble. There are so many biblical examples that offer comfort and guidance: Joseph made it through the pit to the palace. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness, and turned it over to Joshua to lead them into the promised land. Elijah learned to trust in the “still, small voice” of God. Elisha saw that he was protected from the enemy by the chariots of fire that surrounded him. Jesus’ entire life of healing and teaching proves that God is always with us, that we are at home with God. Paul was freed from prison more than once. We, too, have felt the touch of God’s healing, angel messages protecting us, giving us guidance.

We read in James:

… the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere. (3:17 TLB)

Whatever the situation, God gives answers that bring peace. We can trust that God is communicating to us and to others answers that help make us wise so that we can say and do the right thing at the right time. God’s view, which is filled with love and light, lifts us up and even out of a situation if that’s what needs to happen. And it all starts with listening to God.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, please feel free to respond with any clarifying details that would guide this very important discussion regarding how to help others and how to establish peaceful homes.