By Becky Hill Martin
Job 4:4 – Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees.
“If you’re caught speeding, drive faster. The police can’t give you a ticket if they can’t catch you.” “No flashlight on your phone? Take a picture of the sun and use it in the dark.” “Key your own car so people will think you have enemies.” All examples of bad advice from friends (not mine). We’ve all gotten it. Some of us have gone back to those same friends for more advice. Most of us have received bad advice from friends without even asking for it. This chain of bad advice may have started with Job’s friends.
When Job lost everything, one friend insinuated Job must have done something wrong with his life. Why? Because God didn’t let the innocent suffer or die. He advised Job to present his case to God and everything would be restored to him.
With a friend like that – who needs enemies? Job called his friend out. It’s easy for him to assume he knows what’s going on, but he’s not going through awful circumstances and can’t even begin to understand. Job’s friend may have meant well, but he didn’t have the insight to show compassion. Only judgement.
Most of us have friends we share the good and bad times with. We need their support and advice, especially during hard times. But when mere humans give advice, it comes from our personal experience/views/outlook and not God’s. We should always seek Him first. Reading the Bible and prayer brings you advise from the only One who knows the plans He has for you – plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)