Sunday, July 6, 2008

Job's Wife

Lessons from Job’s Wife: Thoughts on Suffering
Craig Finnestad and Vikki O’Hara – July 6th, 2008

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Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. –Job 2:9-10

There is a little bit of Job’s wife in all of us. We struggle when people we love struggle.

Pain is a reality of life. The goal of life should not be to avoid pain. A loftier ambition is to handle pain in a way that is healthy.
“The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” –Thomas Merton
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. –John 16:33
When three of Job’s friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. –Job 2:11-13
Things NOT to do for somebody who is suffering
  1. Don’t stay away because you don’t know what to say / do
  2. Don’t talk too much and share similar experiences
  3. Don’t give too much advice
    Help people discover their own answers and wisdom
  4. Don’t shut down healthy expressions of emotion: tears, fear, anger
  5. Don’t make vague offers of help

    Things to do for somebody who is suffering
  1. Be present and remember that God is present
    Com-fort – To come along side with strength
    Com-passion – To suffer with
  2. Be an active listener
    “Try to listen carefully so you might not have to speak.”
    -Quaker saying
  3. Be caring, not curing
  4. Be a non-judgmental presence
  5. Ask what is needed and offer specific, coordinated help

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