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Learn to Listen

Job’s three friends all have an opinion about why trouble that has come Job’s way. They believe he must have done something to deserve punishment from God. They accuse him of lacking wisdom, exceeding self-righteousness and foolish mockery. These friends show a true lack of compassion for Job’s situation. They do not try to identify or empathize with him. They are so wrapped up in theology and religion that they forget to care. Their passion is misplaced, and they offer Job no real help.

Job’s friends are a perfect example of what we can be if we aren’t careful. While it’s important to know theology and to understand what we believe, we cannot lose the elements of compassion and sympathy when attempting to help or comfort those who are hurting. It’s easy to forget the importance of relationships when we get wrapped up in religion.

Romans 12:15 says we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “mourn with those who mourn.” We’re not called to fix the problem or have all the answers. Our job is to be there. We’re to listen, to sympathize and to encourage our hurting friends with the gospel. Is someone around you hurting? May your presence be a blessing as you carry their burden.

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