How do I help a friend who is blaming God for her mother's death?


A friend's mother has died. The friend is approximately 40. She blames God for the death of her mother and is becoming more and more bitter about losing her mother. What can we share with her from God's word to help her?


While I considered your question important, I delayed responding because the question really deals with reasoning with a person who is being unreasonable. Death is a fact of life. Charles Heston once observed, "The world is a tough place. You're never going to get out of it alive." His comment is scripturally based, for we know, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). To blame God that people die is foolish. It is on the order of blaming God that the sun sets. It is also an attitude of arrogance in that it is saying that this person knows better than God that some one should get an exception. "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil" (James 4:14-16). There is no permanence in life on this earth. We've always been told that we are only passing through.

The reality is that she doesn't want to deal with loss. The problem is within herself, but she won't accept that so she blames someone else.

I had a good friend come by the office a short while back. He cried as he told me the news that his twenty-something daughter died from complications in pregnancy. I can understand his grief. Parents don't expect to outlive their children -- especially early in life. But your friend's grief, while real, goes beyond reasonable. If she is in her forties, then her mother was approaching the age when most people begin to die. It was a bit earlier than average, but not extremely so. She has the right to be sad and to grieve her loss, but she has no right to blame anyone for the world not going her way.

I tend to be a blunt person, I would tell her that she is out of bounds and being grieved is no excuse for sin.