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Don’t Fear What Others May Think: Do Yourself a Favor and Just Don’t Speak

Posted by John Smith on February 8, 2013

Job 6:14 NKJV  “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

 Job 6:21 NKJV  For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid.

 Job’s friends came to him with the intent to bring him comfort.  They had heard about his horrible circumstances and long to bring relief and encouragement to their friend.  Job 2:11-13 shows us they did a pretty good job at first.  It records that they came and just sat with him in silence and mourned with him.  For seven days they just hung out with the guy.  Their presence surely gave Job some peace in knowing that he wasn’t alone and utterly despised as he felt that he was.  But then they began to speak.  I’m sure they fully intended to share helpful comforting words, but like Job (as mentioned in the previous devotion) they didn’t know God either.  Not knowing THE COMFORTER makes it very difficult to bring comfort especially in situations beyond all natural understanding.

I believe Job’s diagnosis of his pals in Job 6:21 was true.  I think when they saw him, sat with him, saw the reality of his situation, and the depth of his pain and despair that they became afraid.  They wanted to help, but didn’t know how and feared.  They probably were afraid that if they didn’t say anything they’d look like idiots and I’m sure they were afraid of their own lack of being able to make sense of the situation.  So they began to try to reason with Job, not to help him… but so they could feel better.  NOTE: When you don’t know what the problem is… accusing people of all kinds of things really doesn’t help.

There are a lot of things we could look at from here, but let’s hone in on those friends a bit.  Instead of just admitting they didn’t understand all that was going on, but that they did know that God was the one Job needed to look to for help for He alone was able to heal and restore Job and He alone could make any sense of the chaos that surrounded Job; they were too afraid they’d look like idiots to each other and were doubly afraid because they really didn’t have any clue.  So they opened their mouths and began to condemn Job (the hurting guy) in an attempt to assuage their own fears.  In the process their fears came on them and they did end up coming off like idiots.

Listen up.  It’s ok to tell someone you don’t know.  That desire to open our mouths and comment on things so we come off as intelligent and insightful is rooted in our pride and stems from a fear that people may realize you aren’t as smart as they think and you pretend.  Yet, when we do blabber about things we don’t have any clue about we generally look exactly the way we wanted to avoid.  Conversely, Scripture tells us that, “The words of the wise are gracious… (Ecc 10:12),” and the truly wise measure their words (Proverbs 10:19).  Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”  So if you really want to look wise… shut up.

The truth is there really are some things we just won’t ever know Deut 23:23 and we don’t have to fear not being able to explain them.  Don’t be afraid of what others may think, do yourself a favor and just don’t speak.  If you can learn more, learn more.  If you still don’t or can’t know just shut up and rest in what you do know.  God is.  He is good.  And He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  Fear Not!

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