Updated: Nov 21, 2018
So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. (Job 2:13)
Old Job was in a bad way. Everything had been taken away from him. He lost his livelihood, his children, and his health all at one time in his life. When his three friends heard about it, they came to him. They cried with him and identified with his sorrow. Then they sat down with Job for a whole week and didn’t even say a word to him because he was so lost in his despair.
Sometimes people around us go through heavy times. The tendency is to just quote Bible verses to them and tell them to have more faith. We often fail to be understanding and to just hear a person out. Sometimes they want to just talk about it. Other times they just want to be quiet. We need to be sensitive to a hurting brother or sister and use wisdom in our response to their suffering.
Job’s friends did the very best thing they could do at the time...listen! How many people exercise the quality of listening these days? We have “talk” shows but have you ever heard of a “listening” show? That would be a good one! People do need counsel but they won’t be open to advice until they feel you are with them and that you really understand. Then you earn the right to share godly counsel from the word of God.
I find that men stumble over this the most. Usually what our wives cherish is someone who will listen to them. But we as men seem to be quick at offering advice and a solution. We must learn that our wives value understanding and kindness more than exhortation. They seem to be able to solve their own problems as they hear themselves talk to a compassionate friend.
I’m glad God listens to our cries and even our groanings (Rom 8:26). And once we realize we have a faithful and abiding Friend, then our hearts will be ripe for the counsel of His Word.
Be sensitive...think...use wisdom...and listen!
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (James 1:19)