- Many whom they see with doubts are struggling with serious personal problems or issues.
- Most have served in capacities (such as missionaries) where they have seen God bring people into the fold, and they see that in their current calling.
- Most have dealt with many, many people who left the fold and have now returned, bringing a renewed testimony of the faith with them.
- Most have been very successful within their faith and as it connects to their personal lives.
- Most have learned to associate resentments and other problems with self deception which can cause them to undervalue pain, or to see issues as a reflection of personal problems rather than external ones.
Are all doubts caused by serious personal problems? No. Is success proof of intrinsic merit and the grace of God? I reject neo-Calvinism in all forms. Are all hurt feelings, pain and resentments the result of self-betrayal and self deception? Obviously not.
But those are the personal narratives that any leader is likely to bring to the table, and to deal with leaders, to be helped by them in grief, to understand them, it helps to know those five things. Especially since with grief, the loss of a child or other serious pain, you already fall within the category of someone with a serious personal issue, albeit one that calls out for love and sympathy.
My own advice? Be gentle with them as you would hope for them to be gentle with you.