Today you should read: Job 22
Have you ever gone through a situation that no one really understands, but everyone seemed to have advice about the situation? Maybe it was a sickness, a death, a break-up, a legal issue, a financial issue, etc.
“Hey, just surrender it to God.”
“Just let go and let God.”
“Read your bible a little more.”
“Confess the sin that is causing your problem.”
There was nothing inherently bad about the advice that was given, but it just didn’t help. In fact, it probably just made the situation worse. You might know that feeling.
If that has happened to you, or is happening to you now, well, you aren’t alone. It’s probably happened to most of us, and we know it happened to Job. If it’s any consolation to you at all, just know that when people offer their advice, it’s usually because they care for you and love you. Sometimes, people can be insensitive, judgmental idiots, but for the most part, people are trying to care for you.
Now, for those of us who are advice givers to the hurting, let me offer a few suggestions. Be sensitive. Watch your communication style. Temper your immediate judgments and assumptions. I know your desire is to help, but, if you aren’t careful, you’ll do more harm than good. Ask the Spirit for guidance before you speak. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Sometimes your hurting friend just needs a listening ear without even hearing your advice and counsel.
I understand that there are times when we need to call out sin and that sometimes we need to let people know that their dumb decisions have caused their trial. But, just because someone is dealing with an issue doesn’t mean they have done something wrong.
There’s some food for thought from Job 22.
Posted by: Rich Duffield