Job 16:4-5 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
Job’s friends were in many ways his tormentors. He is so tired of hearing their words that he responds to them harshly in these verses.
He says that if they were having troubles he could talk to them like they have been talking to him. He could point out their mistakes, errors, and sins but he says that he would not talk to them that way. He could pile up words against them. He could shake his head mockingly at them but he wouldnâ€™t.
He says that instead of that he would do two things. He would strengthen them with the words of his mouth and he would asswage their grief. That means to make (something burdensome or painful) less intense or severe.
His friends seemed intent on trying to show that Job was wrong. They need to justify themselves by showing how God was punishing Job.
The question that comes up for us today is what do we do when our friend or brother in Christ is hurting. Do we seek to reprimand them or help them? Do we want to show them what they did wrong that caused the problem or do we want to help them?
Probably they are hurting enough. There is a good chance that they do not need reminded of what caused the problem. Job says, it I were you I would try to help not hurt.
I am afraid that many Christians seem to almost find joy in someone getting his due reward from God. We want to think of the sin that caused the problem.
That has caused great hurt in the church and even how the world views us.
Could you decide today to use your words in a new way? Could we quit shaking our heads mockingly at them in their pain? Could we begin to use our words to strengthen them? Could we help calm the pain? Could we be a sweet and kind medicine to them?
How are you using your words?