I’m reading the conversations between Job and his friends right now in the book of Job. It’s so uncomfortable for me because I have scars from comments people have made to me during my own health issues the last few years…even while I was down at the altar seeking God’s face.
Job asked his friends why they were tormenting him with their accusations and insults. I know Job was a man, but I have to wonder if he cried because of what they said? I usually just cry. ha!
I’m not sure what it is about health issues or major trials that opens up the doorway to make others think they should step in and offer up judgment instead of encouragement, but it’s sad. When someone is going through pain and trials, the last thing they need is added pain.
Sickness in someone’s life does not automatically mean they’ve sinned or haven’t asked, in faith, to be healed. Trials in someone’s life does not mean they have not been generous to the poor or have angered God.
What do those in pain or those in the midst of a trial need? They need love. They need compassion. They need an ear to listen. They need prayer. If you know specifically of sin in their life, you can offer help, but if you don’t, then don’t accuse. People who are hurting need comfort. They need a friend.
Take them a meal. Babysit their kids or pay for someone else to do it. Pay for someone to clean their house for them. Go sit with them when they can’t get out of bed. Pray with them. Give them a hug. Wash their car. Offer to do something else you know will bless them. Do something to bless them, but don’t add to their pain.
I am so blessed by Job. He did curse the day he was born…that’s understandable, since he was in immense pain…but he was never so discouraged that he allowed his friends to turn mind away from trusting God.
For any Christian in pain, that’s critical. We can’t turn our hearts away from trusting in God. As Christians, we cannot be the ones to cause pain. Our lives are supposed to represent God’s love. If God’s love looks like judgment and accusations, especially in a trial or painful time in someone’s life, it will make it so hard for them to trust in Him.
As Christians, it is imperative that we operate in love, encouragement, and in prayer. Jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all our heart all our soul all our strength and all our mind; and we should love our neighbor as ourselves. What if you were the one in pain? What would you want to hear? What if you were in that trial? What would you need?
We must go and do likewise,