Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Reflection on Job

“Listen carefully to my words;
   let this be the consolation you give me.
 Bear with me while I speak,
   and after I have spoken, mock on." 
Job 21: 2-3

 I've been reading many things over the past few weeks. Among them has been the book of Job and the story of David. The above statement by Job got me thinking.

Job has been devastated by losses. His wealth, his family, and his health are gone. His friends, who came to console him, have been attacking him and accusing him of being the cause of his own misfortune. Any of that sound familiar?

I'm sure all of us can remember a time where we felt wrongfully accused and judged. How did we respond? Probably with righteous indignation! Job certainly did. He tells his friends, "If you want to console me, listen to me. Let me say my piece. Wait until you've heard me out before you mock me, accuse me and judge me!"

I wonder.

Do I really listen to others? Am I paying attention or am I busy preparing my response?

Do I judge people without understanding them and their situation?

Do I give advice without knowing the person and and their circumstances?

Do I give advice instead of listening for understanding?

Do I give advice where it's not wanted or helpful?

Do I resent people dismissing or ignoring my advice?

Do I judge instead of empathizing, consoling, listening and supporting?

Do I try to impose my solutions on others?

Do I think to myself, "That person doesn't really want to be helped", and then turn around and walk away?

I know others have done it to me and I hated it! Why would I think others would graciously and enthusiastically accept behaviour from me that I refuse to accept from them?

What would my response to Job be when he states:

“How you have helped the powerless!
   How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
 What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
   And what great insight you have displayed!
 Who has helped you utter these words?
   And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?"
Job 26: 2-4

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Do you mind if I use this in one of our presentations in South Africa?