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How to Encourage Fellow Believers in Their Afflictions?

Mary was going through major depression. After wrestling with her painful emotions all alone, she finally resolves to share her emotional struggle in her closed WhatsApp group. Martha immediately responds, “Don’t worry, Mary. God is with you. Have faith in God, for He will help you.” She even shares a Scripture to encourage Mary.

Although Martha’s intention was to encourage Mary, her approach may not reap the result she intended. Many in the church would love encouraging one another in their afflictions but know not the right approach. Here are a few lessons I have learned in my pursuit of encouraging the afflicted.

1. EMPATHY. When someone shares their struggle, what touches them is our empathetic attitude towards them. Empathy is the ability to understand and connect to the feelings of another.

When Mary shares in the group about her emotional struggle, Martha must empathetically respond, “Mary, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I think it must be quite painful for you …

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