As she told her story she explained that she had many well-meaning friends and family members however sometimes their words hurt her more than helped her.
Reference: v.8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him." (TNIV Bible)
Explore: I was given an article to read written by a Christian lady, Lydia van der Wel, who had been trying to conceive for a number of years. She wrote of the emotional roller coaster ride that it was to live in hope, every month, of becoming pregnant only to discover that she had failed yet again. As she told her story she explained that she had many well meaning friends and family members however sometimes their words hurt her more than helped her. Saying things like, 'Just relax and it will all happen' or 'Moving to a warmer climate should help'. While people were just trying their best to help they actually made this broken person feel like it was all her fault and she wasn't doing enough.
Application: Words can be very powerful. Sometimes, even when we think we are helping, we can often make someone feel very insignificant by what we say. Giving grand advice when it is not sought for makes the other person feel like they are a lesser person – at a time when they are actually seeking support and encouragement. While Job's friends were well meaning they actually tried to simplify Job's suffering. That's rarely helpful. When we have a friend who is suffering it is important that we don't go with the intent to solve everything. We are not god. Listen, support, encourage and be there when they need you.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be aware of the power of our words. Even when we are being well meaning, help us to understand what it would be like to be receiving the words instead. Amen.
Is there someone who needs your support and encouragement?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.