Tuesday, November 23, 2004

If I were you... Job 5:8-9

Eliphaz continues his council to Job by advising him on what he would do if he were in Job's shoes. He says, "I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God." (verse 8) While this is great advice, the problem is that Eliphaz is not Job. Eliphaz had never been through what Job was going through. Eliphaz had never experienced the suffering that Job was experiencing. It is very easy to stand on the outside and reason about what we think someone else should do, or what we would do in a similar situation. However, none of us really know how we will respond to difficult time until we are in the midst of them.

Before I had children, I was a great parent. I could look at anyone's kids and instinctively know what their parents were doing wrong and what they needed to do to in order to correct the situation. Everything was so clear to me. After I had children, I realized how little I really knew about raising children. All of a sudden, I wasn't as sure about raising kids as I had once been. Actually having children was a lot different than just imagining that I had them.

People need to hear what we know, not what we think. Paul put it this way, "But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer." (2 Corinthians 1:6) What Paul is saying is that, if we are comforted by God in our affliction, then we can use that same comfort to comfort others in their affliction. This is a sharing of those things that we have come to know to be true by our experiences with the Lord. We need to keep our speculations to ourselves, but share our lives with those around us. Share what we know, not what we think.

David Robison

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