Background: The book of Job tells the story of a faithful man who feared God. One day Satan (the acccuser) came to God making accusations against God’s people. God suggested that Satan take a look at His faithful servant Job. Satan told God that the only reason that Job was faithful was because God was blessing him. God therefore gave Satan permission to test Job. And Satan did; he destroyed Job’s crops, livestock, servants, houses and even killed Job’s children and finally Satan destroyed Job’s health. Job had 3 friends who came to console him but just ended up accusing him. How could they have been better friends to Job?
Ask the children…
What does Job ask his friends to do that will make him feel better?
“Listen closely to what I am saying.
That’s one consolation you can give me.” (Job 21:2)
Just listening is such a powerful way of encouraging other people and helping them to process their difficulties and grief. What does Job want them to think about as they listen?
“Bear with me, and let me speak.” (Job 21:3)
Job’s friends were quick to pass judgement on Job’s situation. They had already decided in their minds what the problem was and what Job should do. Instead of ‘bearing’ with Job and listening to Job’s point of view in his agony, they just wanted to tell Job what to do. We can learn alot how not to comfort our friends from Job’s friends. Let us be “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19).
Ask your children if they have some current opportunities to listen to their friends or family members instead of judging them or if they remember some situations where they could have listened better? Ask them if they can think of a way that will help them remember to listen first and then speak? For example, when looking at others or in the mirror notice that we hae two ears and one mouth. That should remind us that we should listen at least twice as long as we speak.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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