August 24, 2015
As Job maintained his righteousness, his friends continued to disagree with him. Job, who had lost his children, most of his possessions and whose body was covered in sores, now had to contend with the accusing advice of his three “friends.” While there is much to learn about the problem of evil and human suffering in the book of Job, there is also something to be learned about how to be a friend to one in grief. Job’s three friends did a couple of things right at first. They showed up. They sat quietly with Job for the first seven days. These are good things. But then, they began with the advice and the accusations. When we seek to comfort a friend in grief, be present and listen, grieve with them. But stop telling them you know how they feel, or how they should feel, or what they did wrong, or what they should do next. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Just pray for them, hug them, bring them food, clean their house, offer to run errands. If they want your advice, they will ask. Don’t be like Job’s friends.