• Do you know someone that has a difficult time during the holiday season?
  • Would you like to know how to help them … or how not to make it worse?
  • Would you love some tips that you can practice right away?

What’s “Trending” (i.e. Current)

During the past few weeks, the topic “how to survive the holiday season” has been popular. However, when I search the internet, I find fewer articles on what we can do right now to help others.

  • Perhaps they have lost a loved one and the holiday season is difficult.
  • Perhaps they feel alone or unable to get together with family.
  • Perhaps they have so many unfulfilled dreams and desires that they try to “shut down” and simply exist through this season.

The following thoughts are from my tip sheet “How to Help Someone who is Hurting.” Please reach out to me if you would like the complete sheet.

I am scared to say the wrong thing!”

It is not easy to learn how to help someone who is in pain. Everyone is wonderfully made, which means they are also full of mystery. We can’t just send them an article or video that helped us. What makes sense to us might be inappropriate or hurtful to them.

Proverbs 25:20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda. ESV

Start with Connecting

Yes, connecting makes sense. But hold on…

We tend to talk before we think.

If we are not careful, we will unconsciously respond with ideas we would find helpful. Phrases may burst out of our mouths such as:

  • Oh, I don’t want you to be sad” or
  • Let me help you…” or
  • I know how you feel, but…”

Danger ahead

Imagine being at a pool on a day when there are few people there. The lifeguard is taking a break, and you notice a swimmer struggling and sinking in the deep end of the pool. Perhaps the swimmer is tired or in pain. Do you rush to assist them? An experienced person understands that a struggling swimmer may be difficult to assist on their own. They have already spotted the life-saving ring or flotation device in the room and grabbed it before jumping in.

The lesson in this example is to first reach out to Someone more powerful than ourselves.

BEFORE you offer comfort CONNECT WITH the GOD of all comfort.

Slow down

Connecting with God first will be different for each of us. You might want to ask,

  • “Lord, please give me Your heart for this person going through?”
  • “What attitudes, judgments or my own hurts do I need to let go of before I reach out to them?
  • “What is one practical step I could take today?

Yes, but…

Oh, how we would like to slow down and connect with God in every situation. Think how much trouble that would save us.

But we don’t do we?

The good news is that there are things we can do to grow the habit of connecting to God first.

  • Remember we have God’s Holy Spirit as our Helper
  • Train and practice daily. We usually aim for perfection and get discouraged and quit. Instead, realize small steps add up.

I have more to share on this subject, but this is a good place to start.

I encourage you to read these short articles for helpful tips.

“Suffering is uncomfortable and awkward for everyone, and comforters say positive things to try and bring relief as fast as possible.” Anna Smith’s article “When Comforting Turns Selfish”

Your Turn

  1. How do you connect with God when you want to help someone? Is it with a worried heart or a heart looking for guidance?
  2. What is one hurting person you could practice with this holiday season by connecting first with God?

Start a conversation with God now to help you be prepared.

Still dancing with Him,



PS – One of the things that prompted me to write this article is knowing that many of us have that “one particular person” we dread being with at the holidays. This person may be grumpy, selfish, and gloomy. We don’t see a recent loss in their life or reason they have to be that way. The principles in this article will help you with this person too. You still have to have reasonable boundaries so you are not tempted (Galatians 6:1) Please reach out to me if you would like some support in this situation.