by Rick Warren — March 21, 2023
From Where is God When It Hurts
“We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide.”
2 Corinthians 6:11 (GNT)
Do you want to help people who are in pain? Then you need to be willing to share how your own pain got your attention.
Pain is a warning light that tells us something is wrong and needs our attention. You could probably think of many examples of when pain got your attention.
The apostle Paul experienced a lot of pain in his life and freely told the story of his pain to help others. When you’re sharing about your own pain in order to help others, do these three things.
First, be open about your feelings. You can’t mask your feelings and help others at the same time. Paul said to the Corinthian church, “We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide” (2 Corinthians 6:11 GNT). When you’re sick, do you tell others you’re not feeling well? When you’re down or discouraged, do you open up to people about it? Saying you’re “fine” is the easy answer, but it will never contribute to an honest relationship.
Second, be humble about your faults. Paul says in Galatians 6:5, “Each of us must bear some faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect!” (TLB) Since you know you’re not perfect, don’t try to pretend you are. People don’t need you to be perfect. They need you to be real.
Third, be honest about your fears. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:20, “I do admit that I have fears that when I come you’ll disappoint me and I’ll disappoint you” (The Message). Have you ever been open enough to share your fears with someone, even when it made you vulnerable? The greatest Christian who ever lived admitted he had fears. That kind of honesty is required in authentic relationships.
The hurting people around you need to hear about how you’ve struggled and how God brought you through—but they don’t need it tied up with a pretty bow.
We all have feelings, faults, and fears. It’s time we share them for the benefit of others.