Lessons in Comforting

Lessons in Comforting

Job 2:11-13

How to comfort someone who is in great despair can be a very tricky thing. Most of the time we simply do not know what to say or do. Here we will look at the book of Job and how his three friends came to comfort him in order to learn some lessons in how and how not to comfort.

It is important to note that Job’s 3 friends had the best of intentions and start out great, they sit with him for seven days and seven nights in the ashes. I do not think we can question their friendship or intentions. But after they start to speak things go downhill rapidly.

How not to Comfort:

1)  Eliphaz (Job 4-5)

  • Criticizing is never a good idea (Job 4:2-6)
  • Making it about yourself doesn’t help (Job 4:8)
  • Playing the spiritual card doesn’t usually help either (Job 4:12-21)

2)  Bildad (Job 8)

  • Pointing out their spiritual shortcomings doesn’t work (Job 8:6)
  • Note he basically refers to Job as a Hypocrite (Job 8:13)

3)  Zophar (Job 11)

  • Basically, calls him a Liar (Job 11:3).

In case you are wondering how this went over look at Job’s response (Job12:3 ; 13:1-5 ; Job 16:2)

How to Comfort:

1)  Stay with them and say nothing (Job 2:12-13)

  • Note Proverbs 10:19

2)  Give them something or do something that shows you care (Job 42:11)

3)  Show Pity (Job 6:14)

  • Remember where they are not why you think they are there.

4)  Don’t give unsolicited advice (Job 6:22)

5)  Scripture works great (Romans 15:4)

  • But remember to use wisdom on the verse and timing.

6)  If you must speak use the example of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16,18,26)

  • He spoke of Jesus not himself and his experience.