Think about Job’s friends. They wanted to console Job. But their theology was too black-and-white. Through some 20 chapters, they degenerated from help to hurt, from wanting to encourage to discouraging. Eventually, they just argued.
Don’t be like Job’s friends. They started on the right foot. The Bible says that when calamity slammed Job, they sat with him in silence for seven days, grieving with him. They showed strong moral support.
But then they searched for words. They sought reasons to explain the unexplainable. They spoke eloquently and gradually became enamored with their fine speeches and forgot about the purpose of uplifting the victim. Instead of infusing solace, they spiked Job. Dogmatism doomed them.
Their lack of words spoke more powerfully than the florid poetry they poured out trying to convince Job he was wrong. In the end, they did more harm than good. Eventually, the dragged Job into the fray and provoked him to some unwise statements. At the end, God rebuked them.
If only they would have finished like they started, friends showing mute affirmation.
Very good point, and one I sometimes have trouble remembering!
We pastors often trust too much in our own words (well, at least I did when I was a pioneer pastor). I am now an assistant pastor and don’t get to use words quite as much in the public setting of the church.
I am reading this everywhere, am I that friend? Is God trying to tell me something?
Lord please help me to learn mute consolation.
Hello. Slow in responding, but I think for your post about what a Christian is, for me, means “sacrifice”. Jesus made the supreme sacrifice for us, and if we truly “love” – we often sacrifice for someone else.
Enjoy your posts. Just got a new hip, so finally I have time to read a bit.
Thanks so much!
So now you are a hippie!