By Chris WittsMonday 16 Sep 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Most of us are aware when others are upset or hurting over issues in life. That’s just the way it is .. life has a habit of dishing up hurtful experiences,and sometimes we need friends who are available to listen and care for us. I hope you’ve had the support and love of someone when you needed them.
In the OT we met Job,a wealthy man,a good man,who worshipped God. But things started to go terribly wrong for Job. He lost of his wealth,his children,and his health. You can read about it in Job 1 and 2. He was very angry at God and cursed the day he was born. He suffered,because God allowed Satan to test him,and this is an amazing book in Scripture to read. But he had 3 friends who came to bring help,advice and comfort. They hardly recognized him and 2:13 says “for 7 days and nights,they sat silently on the ground beside him,because they realized what terrible pain he was in”. But it didn’t end there. We read of the dialogue that went on. And even though they said nothing for 7 days,they did launch into a string of critical statements,condemning Job for his sin. “You are suffering because of your sin” is what they basically said.
The credible Christian US psychologist Frank B. Minirth (who has written more than 80 books) suggests that Job’s friends were talkers,not listeners. They may have been eloquent,but were too directive,too fast,too legalistic and too dogmatic. They did not convey a proper attitude. They failed to understand,and became harsh and cruel accusers,not counsellors. I am sure an effective counsellor is someone who is keen to listen and try to understand.
They said that Job must have sinned. But what evidence did they have? When Job argues with them,the three counsellors became indignant. And in the heat of their argument,Job’s friends forget their original purpose. I find that very interesting. It re-inforces the powerful use of listening to people,rather than talking at or down to them. Have you had the experience of a well meaning friend giving you a lecture instead of trying to understand your situation? .
If you are an active Christian,you will know the importance of helping someone who is hurting. That’s what Jesus did and He wants us to follow His example.
And if we want to help the hurting,we must recognize that caring alone is not enough.