One of the most common counseling questions I’m asked by students is, “What do you say to some one who…” You can then fill in the blank of any number of problems. It’s an understandable question. Many students will face situations in the ministry they have never faced before and have no idea what to say.

I find it’s sometimes best to start with what not to say. Here are Lifehacker’s suggestions about what not to say to someone who has just lost their job (common Michigan scenario).

1. “Don’t worry. You’ll be okay. It will all work out.”
2. “Everyone’s losing their job these days. No one has any work”
3. “You think you have it bad? I just met an ex-CEO I used to work with who’s homeless.”
4. “Stop being so negative. Be grateful for what you have.”
5. “Now you can find your passion.”
6. “You always come out on top.”
7. “Wow, too bad. Come sit in my new Bugati. You’ll feel better.”

Read Lifehacker’s amusing exposition of these points here, together with a further seven things that you should consider saying.

I was greatly helped by your responses to last week’s question, “What is preaching?” So, here’s another: “What Bible verses or doctrines would you add to Lifehacker’s common grace ideas?”