With Friends Like These…

You know how to finish the sentence don’t you…who needs enemies. As Job is going through his time of intense suffering, three “friends” show up to help him. But they don’t provide much help at all. Their message essentially boils down to this, “You wouldn’t be in this shape if you hadn’t done something really wrong”. They provide little comfort; rather they take turns blaming Job for his troubles.

This is a fairly common approach to “advice” isn’t it? Others may come alongside us and instead of simply being with us and/or crying with us, they attempt to correct us. I admit that for many years this was my approach and I still slip into this mode at times. I have learned that often other people don’t need my advice; they just need me. Job didn’t really need to hear explanations for his suffering from his friends. After all, they were wrong. What he needed was someone to listen to him as he cried out to God. I commend the friends for coming to Job’s side, but I can’t commend them for the way they spoke to Job. Do you have anyone who needs you to be a real friend right now? Does someone need a listening ear and not a lashing from a tongue? Perhaps we can learn from the negative example of Job’s friends.


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