S: Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 25:20 Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.
Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Proverbs 27:14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
O/A: It's not easy to know what to do sometimes when you have a friend or loved one who is feeling depressed. As two of the above proverbs point out, being cheery with them isn't always helpful. Yet, we have a responsibility to be a friend to them nonetheless, instead of letting them sink deeper and deeper into the slough of despond. There is a balance to be had between helping a depressed person and being dragged down yourself, but it's not easy to tell where the balance is.
Sometimes, just sitting silently and empathizing with them is already helpful.
Ultimately, the Friend who sticks closer than a brother, our taiko (big brother) Jesus is the only one who can live up to Carol King's song
And you need some love and care,
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right —
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night.
You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am,
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there — you've got a friend.
P: Father, please give us wisdom when we have a friend who is down, how to comfort them and cheer them up without adding to their sorrow. And to bring them to Jesus, the ultimate Friend. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)