Editor’s Note: Joel Renner is the CEO of RENNER Ministries and the National Director of the U.S. ministry office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Alongside his father, he has actively participated in nearly every facet of the daily operations of the ministry since his youth. Joel resides in Moscow, Russia, with his wife and two sons.
How To Be a Friend to Someone in Crisis
by Joel Renner
How are you a good friend to someone in a time of crisis? This is a question I hope you don’t have to ask yourself too often because you don’t ever want your friends to be in trouble. The truth is, when your friend is facing a really difficult circumstance, you feel for that friend. Depending on your relationship, it can even feel like it is your burden because you care so much. So how do you help a friend in times of crisis?
I recommend that you listen to your friend and put yourself in his shoes. If you need to forgive him because he surprised you by his actions, then forgive him. Everyone responds differently when they are in pain or going through a hard time, so you can help your friend by extending grace to him.
Second, ask your friend how you can help him or her. As believers, it is important for us to obey what the Bible says, and there are many passages of Scripture that talk about helping your neighbor. Here are just a few:
- The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
- Jesus instructing His disciples to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30,31).
- A proverb instructing us to show mercy and kindness (Proverbs 24:28,29).
It may also take time for your friend to recover from his moment of crisis. But that is what it is — it is a moment. Eventually, the difficulty will pass, and your friend will be on the other side. Be patient and prayerful. Don’t try to force your friend to act on your revelation — rather, ask God to give that person a revelation of his own that is very real and personal to him.
We need pray for our friends and reach out to them. Just think about how you would like to be treated in a really hard time. I think most of us would like someone to reach out to us and tell us we are not forgotten. We would probably appreciate someone trying to connect with us instead of avoiding us or treating us like a troubled person.
So today, let’s think about our friends. If they are in a time of crisis, let’s be understanding, show them the love of Christ, and do what we can to help them.