Bring Relief

Hey!  I know I haven’t done a blog in a while. I’ve been going through a really bad sickness and haven’t been able to do much the last month.  I’m still nowhere near over it and prayers are appreciated.  However, I am having a decent day today so I decided to write a blog.

One thing I have been doing when I feel well is reading my Bible and in my effort to read it straight through, I am currently in the book of Job.  I’ve read Job before.  He is the key figure a lot of Christians look towards when they are going through a difficult time.  Job has three “friends” come visit him while he is ill and after he has lost pretty much everything he had in life.  Instead of comforting Job his friends tell him he did things that he didn’t actually do, that he has been a bad person, and pretty much mock him.  Job finally says this to them in 16:4b-5, I could string words together against you and shake my head at you, but I wouldn’t.  I would encourage you with my mouth and the consolations from my lips would bring relief.

Have you ever been in a situation that your friend was wrong and all you wanted to say was I told you so?  Or perhaps you have done something wrong and you need support instead of someone to condemn you?  The Bible tells us that we should encourage one another, lifting one another up if one of our brothers has stumbled.  It is so easy to condemn.  Job’s friends condemned him because he was being tested in faith, and I think out of the whole story his three friends treating him like they did would probably seem to be the biggest woe that happened to him in my mind.  To be in complete distress and to have someone treat you in that manner would be crushing to your spirit, yet I think most of us have been in this position.  We really find out who are friends are when we go through a valley.

As a Christian, right or wrong, we are to encourage one another.  That doesn’t mean you have to approve of what another person does nor does it mean that you accept it as ok, but you do have to accept it has happened.  If a brother or sister comes to you in a time of need acknowledge the problem but don’t stay there.  Help them be lifted out of the problem, supporting them as they make their way back to where they need to be.  And listen to what the problem really is because as a society we like to fully destroy people for things they didn’t necessarily do.

In my own life I tried to ignore a person who was being mean to me.  She finally hit that spot where I just couldn’t control my anger anymore and spoke in a hateful way about her.  After I did it, I realized I was more hurt than she was because she got what she wanted; me upset.  And I was devestated because I was trying to handle the situation in a Christian way and failed miserably.  I knew I had disappointed God.  I reached out to one of my good Christian friends and there was no condemnation from her.  She acknowledged that what I did wasn’t right and that we have all done it, but what was important was that I immediately ask for forgiveness and then accept the grace that was waiting for me.  When we condemn one another it pushes the person we condemn so much further from Christ and the enemy uses that to keep them away.  Real Christians lift one another up when one has fallen.  Remember to be comforting and encouraging in dealing with people.

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