Arguments vs. Encouragements

As I continue to read Job and the discussions that take place between him and his three friends, I begin to wonder why his friends are not trying to encourage him during his suffering. They are more argumentative and accusing rather than encouraging. They accuse him of sinning, which he hasn’t, and give him a hard time and mock him as he tries to defend himself against them. By chapter 17, Job is at the point, it seems, where he is ready to die. He hasn’t lost his faith but his will to live. How different could this scene be if I friends were more encouraging to him? They could remind him of God’s promises or just be silent comforters. A simple, “I’m sorry for your loss/troubles,” is much better than, “Oh man, you must have really pissed off God to be in this position.”

How many times have I said something more accusing than encouraging to someone I know or love? How many times have you? Sometimes, I think, we forget that words can hurt more than physical wounds. There are not physical scars left behind, but there are emotional scars and those can take much longer to heal. When people we know, or even those we don’t personally know, are going through tough circumstances, we should all be offering encouragement and hope–not arguments and accusations.

Someone who I have found to be using his tough circumstances to provide hope and encouragement to others is Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real. This third child, Bowen, was born with a heart defect. You can read more about him here. In one of his recent posts, he posted a video with the following introduction:

“I want to leave you with a video that I saw a few months ago. It’s about where we put our hope, how we deal with loss, and what the Christian life should really look like. I wept the first time I watched it, and I still can’t watch it with dry eyes. It ends with my favorite quote by John Piper. I hope this makes you think long and hard about where your hope is.”

I think it’s a good reminder of what’s important in life and where our hope should lie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


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