WHAT KIND OF COMFORTER ARE YOU?
"I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:2 NIV).
I always pity the man Job whenever I read the book of the Bible that bears his name. Here is a man that lost everything he had in a single day. He was afflicted with a disease, and his wife advised him to curse God and die. To compound his problems, his so-called friends that came to console him turned out to be "miserable comforters." They "tormented and crushed" (Job 19:2) him with words as they blamed him for his travails. They would have heeded to Job's advice, "If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom" (Job 13:5 NIV. See also verse 13; 16:3; 18:2; 19:2; 21:2-3). The more Job cautioned his friends to consider his plight, the more they rebuked him for his self-righteousness. They are indeed "worthless physicians" (Job 13:4).
Experiences have proved that silence is the best way to comfort someone that is bereaved. People may have contrary opinion, especially people that are extroverts. The friends of Job did well when they first came to him for staying "with him for seven days and seven nights" (Job 2:13 NIV) without saying a word. That is empathy.
Instead of being full of words, it is better for one to be full of action - what one can do to alleviate or even solve the problem if it is solvable. This is what Jesus Christ did in all the cases where He raised someone from the dead (see Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56; John 11:17-44). In each of the cases, Jesus did not speak much. The apostles also followed this example (Acts 9:36-43; 20:7-12).
You may not be able to do like Jesus Christ or the apostles in solving totally a problem, but you can follow this admonition, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15 NIV). Do not be a comforter like one of Job's friends. The Bible says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP). What kind of comforter are you?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).