KNOWING WHAT NOT TO SAY

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“Then Job answered, ‘I have heard many such things; Sorry comforters are you all. Is there no limit to windy words’” (Job 16:1-3a)?

“Sorry comforters.” There is a sermon in these words alone. Chapter after chapter has been filled with the empty verbosity of friends offering speculation as to why all the terrible things that happened to Job occurred. Someone has expressed it well, “Life is not a series of complex riddles to be solved but events and tragedies to be endured and lived through.” In times of suffering, the last thing a person needs is vain attempts to explain why. In our compelling need to say something, we inevitably say what we shouldn’t. The most comforting ministry is one of presence and knowing what not to say.

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