“GOOD GRIEF” [Dealing with Life’s Losses]
INTRO: In life, we all face losses. As a church, we are facing staff losses. How should we respond? You can either try to run from your grief or face it head on. Mary, Martha and Jesus experienced grief over the loss of Lazarus (John 11:1-44).
I. THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF: 1) Denial, 2) Bargaining, 3) Anger, 4) Depression, and 5) Acceptance.
- Don’t confuse grieving with a lack of faith.
- You may go through some of these stages more than once.
- Don’t stay stuck, but keep moving forward.
II. COMMON, BUT UNHEALTHY RESPONSES TO LOSS:
- Stuff your feelings.
- Try to just buck up.
- Grieve alone.
- Attempt to replace the loss.
- Look for a diversion.
- Assume time will heal.
- Never love again.
III. THE HEALTHY GRIEVING PROCESS:
If you don’t stop to grieve, your grief may eventually stop you!
- Feel & express your feelings (Jn. 11:21, 32, 35; Matt.5:4).
- It’s okay to say you’re not okay (Ps. 34:18).
- Grieve in community (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 12:15; Matt. 26:36-38).
- Accept the loss.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to heal (Jn. 14:16 KJV).
- You can love again (1Cor. 13:8a, 13).
IV. RESPONDING TO OTHERS WHO ARE GRIEVING:
- Do acknowledge the loss.
- Do allow and give permission to grieve.
- Don’t make careless God statements.
- Don’t try to answer the ‘why’ question.
CONCLUSION: We will also experience loss in our lives. Don’t run from grief, but face it head on – enter the grieving process in order to move towards health.