"Here I am desperate, and you consider my words as worthless as wind." – Job 6:26 CEV
Job was “desperate.” Words came gushing from his heart as he struggled with the pains he suffered. Observing Job and listening to his words, his friends had much to say. Each had explanations about his problems, what they felt Job had done wrong, and how he needed to respond.
But Job found their words consistently unhelpful. He felt unjustly attacked and criticized, that his friends did not truly understand what had happened. They reached conclusions without really knowing all the information. They did not seem to be listening or discerning. In fact, he felt that they rejected his own words as “worthless as wind.”
As Job found out, it can be easy to speak without really understanding the impact of our words or knowing all the information about a situation. But the Bible urges us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19).
As Jesus taught, we are to be careful before we criticize or judge others. The standard we use in judging others is the standard by which we will be judged (Matthew 7:1-2). If we want to have a real impact, we need to fill our minds and hearts with God’s Word. We need to seek His discernment, to be good listeners, and to be careful what we say.
Remember, your words can wound or heal. They can encourage or discourage. Ask God to give you understanding before you speak and before you judge.
PrayerFather, guide me when I speak to others. Give me discernment. Shape my words. Speak through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingJob 6