Ever had a nagging problem that you often wondered “why me”? And your conversations with your friends were laced with grief, anger, and unsettled questions about how you ended up in such a precarious situation. Yet these friends insisted on sharing their opinions of your situation and why you should not dare complain.
Not That Again
For me, I found myself lamenting only to have those around urge me to sing another tune besides my usual why me, what about me song. During those times, I don’t always welcome those feel-better- platitudes. I’m convinced they just do not understand the depths of my plight. It’s then that similar words to what Job said dash through my mind.
I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air. What makes you keep on talking? Job 16:2-3 (NLT)
Am I suggesting that others should leave us in a sea of complaints about our troubles? Not exactly but I do suggest we examine the message we extend to others, when they are going through hard times. Knowing the right time to speak is just as important as having the right words to say.
Are You Encouraging or Deciphering
There are times I hear stories of loss, pain, and lack that I’m simply at a loss of what to say. While I would like to provide a balm for their wounds, my limited mind cannot conceive of the proper remedy. It is at those time it’s so easy to attempt to pick apart their situations-to give reasons for what they are experiencing. However, who really understands the ways of God? Without realizing it, we can fall into pointing out all the things they have done wrong rather than supplying encouragement.
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. Job 16:5-6(NLT)
Like Job and his friends, we can make some unwise and untrue statements about our situation during difficult times. Job assumed the reasons for his troubles was because God was angry with him (Job 16:9) and his friends just knew it was because he had sin. Oh so WRONG-they both were.
How much better would it have been for Job’s friend to just extend a listening ear rather than offer a discourse of their opinions?
Now may we learn from their error. Next time we are tempted to speak, let’s stop for a moment and think is my opinion of the matter really necessary?
T Is it true?
H Is it helpful?
I Is it inspiring?
N Is it necessary?
K Is it kind?
What Others Are Sharing About Going Through Difficult Times
- Job Loss Grief: The Unknown and Unacknowledged Emotion (arleenbradley.wordpress.com)
- Through the Fire (lisaphelps.org)
- 10 Important Steps in Recovering from Grief and Loss (12stepgriefandloss.wordpress.com)