I recently read through the book of Job and got smacked around a little bit. I’ve known the story of Job for a while, but I can’t remember a time where I read the whole story, start to finish.
You see, Job went through SOME STUFF. He lost his livestock (better known as his way to make some scrilla), he lost his servants (which was a big deal in that day), and he lost all of his children. He knew about loss better than I know about Saturday Night Live. Which is a lot.
So Job starts to wrestle with this and he has three guys speak into his life regarding why all of this calamity has fallen on him. The first one told him that the innocent prosper, so basically Job wasn’t innocent in some area of his life. The second tells Job he should repent. And the third, oh the third, tells Job that he deserves worse. If you’re interested in the rest of the story (Paul Harvey style), then go read it.
Here’s what I learned from Job’s friends: don’t be a big jerk face!!
Too many times in my life I’ve had a friend come to me, struggling with something hard in their life, and I’ve been the person that looks condescendingly upon said person and popped something off like, “Well, have you prayed about it?”, “I mean, maybe you have unconfessed sin in your life…”, or, at my worst, “You know, when you think about it, we actually have it really good. You should be grateful this is all you’re going through.”
On the flip side, I’ve also been the one that’s had similar things said to her. One of my least favorite, yet most popular Job-friend-esque responses to me struggling through seasons of being bummed about singleness is: “There’s probably some personal stuff you need to work out with the Lord before you’re ready for marriage.” (or some version of that)
While I (sometimes) appreciate the sentiment, I don’t understand why we can’t just listen to each other and say, “I’m so sorry this is hard for you. I’m here for you. You’re not going through this alone.”
And I don’t understand why I have to be so pretentious and act like I have it all together.
So I guess what I’m saying is, let’s be better listeners with each other. Let’s do a better job of living life with one another. Let’s stop acting like we have all the answers whenever crappy things happen in life. Let’s give advise that is based in love and wisdom, not just a bunch of head knowledge that tears others down.
And if you’re sharing some hard stuff with me and I start to act like a hoity toity brat, pop me in the forehead and bring me back to life. Cause I want to be a good friend. I don’t want to be a jerk face.
(ps, click here for the full Garth & Kat skit!)