Facing Death: Bargaining

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Facing Death: Bargaining

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of LivingFree.org

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Today's Scripture

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." (Words of Jesus in John 14:27)

Thoughts for Today

Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., has spent most of her professional career working with dying patients in Chicago hospitals. Her observations of death have yielded insights of inestimable value to both the dying and those who want to assist them in the process.(1)

This week we are looking at stages many people go through as they face death. We've looked at denial and anger, and today we'll look at bargaining.

This is a stage of quiet guilt. It involves psychological negotiations for more time, for another chance at life. Some patients with a terminal illness think if they act more "correctly," they will win an extension of life. Not everyone bargains, but "the promise of good behavior in exchange for longer life may motivate a significant portion of the dying individual's behavior."(2)

Consider this …

People experiencing this kind of struggle can experience peace only as they are able to trust Jesus. His love. His caring—for both them and their loved ones. Jesus offers peace in every situation, even during the most heartbreaking and difficult times. Peace that can be found nowhere else. He encourages us not to be troubled or afraid but to keep our eyes on him. He will help us work through all the fear and doubt.


Lord, thank you for the peace Jesus offers us. Help me find that peace by trusting his love, his plan. In his name . . .

(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
(2) Coleman, J. C., and Glaros, A. G. (1983). Contemporary Psychology and Effective Behavior (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman & Company, p. 116.

These thoughts were drawn from …


Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.

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