Another lesson to be learned concerns our relationship with those around us who seek to be a comfort to us. We should never impose our sorrow on others or demand that they remain with us in a state of grief and remorse. We cannot ask our friends to stop living simply because we are carrying a heavy burden; to do so is arrogant. This type of arrogance is called the demand syndrome. It is not right to resent others who seem to be having a good time while we are mourning. We must eventually release friends from any obligation they may feel to share the sorrow we will bear for the rest of our lives. It is not fair for us to cast a shadow of gloom, and then expect all of our friends to enter into it. This is not the way God intended for us to face the death of a loved one.
The reason for this is twofold: (1) From the inventory of Bible doctrine, the Word of God in our souls, comes the realization that our loved one is in a state of perfect happiness, regardless of whether they were spiritual winners or losers in the execution of the predesigned plan of God; and (2) We can take comfort in the fact that the Lord loves us very much. He knows everything that we are going through, and He will carry us on to victory. Remember the principle, with your sorrow you have the chance to carry the comforting fragrance of the memories of your loved ones, and with that fragrance you will never resent the laughter and the happiness of those around you.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 is an important verse that helps us remember that we do not honor our departed loved ones when we perpetuate grief into abnormality: A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. The words laugh and dance are used merely to represent social life.
The communion table is a great example of what our attitude should be toward those loved ones we have lost to death. When Our Lord said in LUK 22:19, “....do this in remembrance of Me,” He was challenging us to remember His life and death without turning it into abnormal grief. This principle is again explained in 1CO 11:23-26: For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Notice the emphasis on the Lord’s death. We are instructed to call to remembrance His death and what it accomplished for us. We are instructed to remember Him who died for us. Likewise, we can remember loved ones without being arrogant. We can remember them and carry our burden of sorrow without entering into the demand syndrome. We will all carry sorrow one day, but it is not an excuse to carry it in arrogance. Remember this important principle: Your loved ones are in Heaven enjoying perfect happiness. They do not want you to have anything less here on earth.
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