One day as I read the book of Job in the Bible, my heart was struck dumb by the speech given by one of his friends. ”I agree with what this man is saying.” I’d always given the speeches of these four men who had come to comfort Joh in his time of distress a cursory over glance; but that morning, I’d become interested with the impassioned passages of scripture. I felt there was truth in what these men had spoken.
I’d often laughed that many times when Job was quoted to prove a point, teachers and preachers chose a read from one of Joh’s friends, not Job. My curiosity pricked, I reread the book of Job. The offending friends appeared to be speaking clear truth.
“God,” I prayed, “I don’t understand. These men spoke truth. What was wrong with what they said?”
“Their words were not wrong,” I felt the Lord speak to my heart. ”It was their attitude. Linda, whenever you approah a brother with an attitude of self-righteousness and condemnation, nothing you say is right.”
In a time of cleansing in a sister’s or brother’s life, we must guard our hearts and minds.
I find it’s easy to be a Job’s friend; but excruciatingly difficult to be like Paul. In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle bathed himself with prayer, heaped on love and compassion before he brought correction. When the Corinthian church rejected his first word, he wrote again still balancing his stern admonitions with charity.
God brings to fruition words spoken in love. However, we learn from the book of Job that God brings His justice and judgment on attitudes of condemnation and self-righteousness. Job had to pray for his friends before God would forgive them of their sin of condemnation and self-righteousness.
We will always be safe by using Philippians 2 as our pattern:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being in the very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled himself
And became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!
The process of emptying ourselves, making ourselves of no reputation, taking the form of a servant assures that our hearts and minds will remain pure.
Do you remember a time that you were corrected with love and assurance of God’s grace? How did it make you feel?