I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Job 16:2
As a person is going through an extremely tough time, many people will just avoid that person. They avoid him because they don’t know what to say or do, or because they don’t want that bad situation to come upon them.
Others will be quick to show up at his side. The purpose of showing up, however, is to give some advice. People are very quick to give advice in how to deal with something. Often this advice is coming from people who have never been in the situation themselves. It is what they think they would do if they were in that position.
Very few people show up, just to be a support, without giving a ton of advice. They are there to show compassion and love.
As Job was going through extreme difficulties and his world was falling a part, some of his friends came by to be with him. Instead of being silent and supporting him, they wanted to give him some advice or counsel. Their counsel was not supportive or encouraging. It was degrading and condemning.
In the church there are many believers who are just like Job’s friends. They intend to speak well, but in the end are condemning and not supportive. There is no love, mercy or grace of God in their words.
People often thin that they know and understand fully what is going on in the life of someone else. On the outside it can appear as one thing, but on the inside it can be totally different. Just because someone is going through a tough time does not automatically mean there was unrepentant sin involved or that God is against him. Knowing the end of the story, one knows that Job was innocent in this case.
You will have times when you will have a friend going through a tough time. Things will be falling a part for him. You need to be there for him to support him and lift him up.
However, be careful with your words. Be sure that your words are the words of God, words that show love, grace, mercy, and compassion. Do not be so quick to condemn or find fault. It is the devil that condemns, not Jesus. Jesus came to heal and save, not condemn.
What type of comforter will you be for a friend going through a tough time? Loving? Or condemning?
I pray today that you will know God’s love; that you will share God’s love with others; that you will speak the true words of God at all times; and that you will be a comfort to those in need as God comforts you.