Before You Offer Advice to a Hurting Person


PC Alisha Mullett

We live in a world filled with hurting people.


If you pay attention, you see many who are facing tremendous pain and loss. Depression, cancer, miscarriages, heart failure, relational issues, divorce. It seems as if pain is more prone to affect lives than ever before. But many of us are unequipped to know how to relate to those who are struggling.


Although I’ve not had professional training in psychiatry, I’ve had many years of experience in not only personally surviving huge issues like this, but also closely walking with those plagued with tremendous pain. I’ve learned a lot, and have seen issues caused by physical, emotional, or spiritual roots.


One of my greatest passions is to help those who are hurting. Those who feel misunderstood. Those who are surrounded by people, yet face aloneness—the first crisis in human history.


Why is this aloneness so prevalent? Many are unwilling to take the time to truly enter into a situation and discover the bigger picture. Instead quick solutions and judgements are passed which only adds to an individual’s pain.



Many are prone to offer quick advice or pass judgement, while completely missing empathy and comfort. 


We’ve been honored to partner with many individuals and ministries who are bringing hope, healing, and redemption to those who are hurting. But I’ve also struggled with anger at the insensitivity and judgement often expressed towards those who are facing huge battles.


To tell the parents of an infant child on life support that this child’s genetic heart condition is caused by a spiritual condition is rather insensitive. Please be gentle and compassionate with those who are hurting. Realizing you’ve never walked their journey may help you to focus on caring rather than condemning. If you’ve never faced a horrible situation someone else is facing it doesn’t mean you’re more qualified to identify a spiritual or emotional issue in their lives. In fact, you’re probably less qualified.


Some Christians have the tendency to spiritualize someone else’s struggles, while others completely disregard any spiritual connections to physical sickness. My friend, there is a balance. However, we’ve seen the church hurt their wounded far too often.


For some, it seems more spiritual to tell someone their physical struggles are spiritually based. And suddenly everything has a spiritual root. In reality, EVERY physical condition any of us have ever faced could be labeled as a spiritual condition. But sometimes physical ailments and disease occurs due to the fact of us living in a fallen, broken world.


If you look at physical health struggles solely through the eyes of spiritual roots, you’re off balance. If you look at physical health struggles solely through the eyes of physical roots, you’re off balance.


PC Alisha Mullett

Many of us don’t truly grasp that we are spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit has to do with our spiritual condition, the soul is our mind, will and emotions, and our body has to do with the physical. But these three areas are intricately connected. When one of these isn’t healthy, it will always affect the other two. But is the root issue spiritual, physical, or emotional? This is where we have to seek God for ourselves.


When someone is hurting, they need to know that you’re more concerned about their aloneness than at diagnosing them. Especially if you’re trying to convince them that their physical problem is an emotional or spiritual issue.


I thank God that my health has drastically improved over the past two years. I know the struggle of having severe adrenal fatigue caused by the imbalances going on in my body. I had physical symptoms such as low blood pressure, heart palpitations, electrolyte imbalances, abnormal cortisol levels, and passing out, but I also had irrational fear, anxiety and depression. I was unable to handles stress of any kind. Depending on who I would’ve talked to, they would have said that I had deep emotional or spiritual issues.


I was in a vulnerable time of my life where I needed caring support and prayers much more than anything. And I thank God that I received it. My family and those closest were understanding and non-judgmental.


We know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my issues were physically based, but they certainly affected me emotionally and spiritually as well. Since I’ve been focusing on healing my adrenal glands, the fear and other symptoms dissipated as well.


Our family has seen the affects of spiritual bondage and how it can cause havoc to someone’s physical health. That connection can be real, and this is not meant to undermine spiritual issues in our lives. However, physical imbalances and conditions can cause many of the same symptoms.


Before you give advice to someone who’s struggling, you need to understand they don’t need to know “truth” before they know that they’re not alone. When someone is at a physically vulnerable time in their life, this is not the time to cast spiritual judgement.


Photo: Alisha Mullett


Maybe you are the hurting individual who’s had judgements and harsh, insensitive words said to you. Please understand that many individuals who brashly cast judgements may not understand what you’re going through. Many truly mean well, but simply don’t understand what it’s like to be on the other end of it. For example, I’m much more sensitive about what I say to those who’ve had miscarriages since I’ve experienced several. Before that, I simply didn’t understand what it was like. It’s easy to speak into something we can’t personally relate to. Once you walk through an experience, you’re much more likely to show compassion.


I love this quote from Ann Voscamp, “Those who have known an unspoken broken can speak the most real healing.” Most of the real healing we have to offer others isn’t based on truth, but on compassion.


~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)


  • Evelyn Miller
    Posted at 11:22h, 26 October

    Such a good post! So true, thank you Cindy

  • june nelson
    Posted at 09:20h, 27 October

    How true this is. Love and compassion is most definitely better than criticism and judgement. Spiritualizing is good, the love of God shown and a hug is especially helpful when one feels alone and is hurting.

  • Mark and Marian King
    Posted at 09:49h, 29 October

    Cindy, Thank you for sharing from your heart! As of yesterday our church at Bethel experienced a tragic accident. 2 vehicles collided head-on. 7 people were injured. Afew very serious! We have church family at Reading, Hershey and LGH hospitals. The needs are great among us! Please pray that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus…..

  • Rochelle Kauffman
    Posted at 13:25h, 29 October

    Well said! Thank you for the truth of this!!

  • HealingInHim
    Posted at 16:46h, 05 November

    A couple of days ago I discovered your family via SoundsLikeReign. As I’ve searched and listened to your testimony and music ministry I’ve been brought to tears. I’m still healing from all that you describe in your compassionate post.
    Obviously, this was God’s timing. Thank you Cindy & Duane & family for reaching out to us.
    Praying for the Lord’s strength, courage and blessings as you continue on. ((hugs)) to all.

  • HealingInHim
    Posted at 09:08h, 06 November

    Thank for this Cindy. This is my life and I have found myself withdrawing from many, especially ‘the churched’ because it has been so painful.
    Praying for you and your loved ones. I’ve just discovered how the Lord is using your family via SoundsLikeReign.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 13:12h, 07 November

    Praise the Lord for His timing and faithfulness. We cannot praise our Father enough for His goodness. In spite of life’s tough challenges.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 13:18h, 07 November

    I’m so sorry that you have been deeply hurt by those who should’ve been comforting and caring for you during your most difficult challenges. Just realize this isn’t what God intended the church to be like. May God continue to heal you and show His compassionate and loving heart. We will be praying for you.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 13:26h, 07 November

    We heard about this bad accident and have been praying. We’re so sorry for all involved and will keep praying for complete recoveries. God bless you as you’ve actively been reaching out in love and compassion. We rejoice in hearing that God has been doing a great work among you. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!

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