Then Job answered, “I have heard many such things; sorry comforters are you all.” – Job 16:1-2
Most Bible readers are familiar with the story of Job and his three “friends.” By the time you reach chapter 16, Job is getting a little shall we say, “testy,” but who can blame him? He had lost everything, including his health. His wife told him to drop dead. Then three of his closest friends arrived only to rebuke him for questioning the purpose or cause of his calamity.
Job already understood their arguments. He could trace their reasoning. He needed answers from God, not judgmental accusations from bystanders. Comfort, not counsel, was required and his friends would not provide it.
When a tragedy, crisis, or calamity strikes someone close to you, resist the urge to provide reasoned answers. A prayer, a hug, a sympathetic touch, or just simple, silent presence are usually what communicate the loudest.
Compassion costs. It is easy enough to argue, criticize and condemn, but redemption is costly, and comfort draws from the deep. Brains can argue, but it takes heart to comfort. – Samuel Chadwick