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Criticism or Consolation


‘I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief. “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak. ‘

Job 16:2,4-6 NLT


Job replies to Eliphaz, questioning the reason why his friends were there. To Job, it seemed his friends had no clue what was happening. Job had no idea, as well. Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all. We can jump to conclusions as to why things are happening and make things worse. When comforting someone, criticizing them about why they are in that situation adds salt to the wound. How can we be a people who show love to those facing hardships?


Be lightning rods. Sometimes, people need someone they can talk to to channel their sorrow, grief, frustration, anger, and disappointment somewhere without frying anyone. Job wanted to voice his pain and suffering to find some answer only God could provide. Had his friends been silent to let Job vent, the situation would not have escalated to a point where God reprimanded Job’s friends. Let’s ask others how we can support them. Sometimes, just being present without words is more encouragement than running our mouths thinking we have the answers.


Lord God Almighty, help us to be compassionate and understanding when comforting others. Teach us to listen without judgment and be present for those going through difficult times. Give us the wisdom to know when to speak and remain silent, and guide us to be sources of love and encouragement. In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.




ヨブ記16:2,4-6 NLT







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