A Condemning Spirit

**How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? ….And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself. ** Job 19:2,4

If you know the story of Job from the Old Testament, you know that in one day he went from being one of the most respected and prosperous men of his people to one who experienced great loss and became the most criticized and condemned.

Condemned by his own friends. By those who knew him best. By those who knew his integrity and dedication. By those who called him friend.

Why is it that we are so quick to jump on the critical bandwagon? Why is it so easy for us to condemn and reject those we care about? Why do we lose grace and thoughtfulness when they are going through a difficult trial? Why do we think we know better than the Lord, and that we have a right to judge them?

Every time I read the book of Job, I like it more. It is a heartbreaking but clear depiction of the hearts of men. It is a commentary on our fickle loyalties and our selfish hearts. It reminds us that we are not as wonderful as we think we are.

And it teaches us that trials come, not necessarily because we are out of sync with the Lord, but because we are closest to Him. Because He counts us worthy to suffer for his sake. Because He is digging deep and cleaning out the hidden corners of our hearts. The corners that keep His Light in us from shining as bright as it could.

Over the years, I have watched many go through truly difficult trials. Their suffering is intense, their spirits are broken and hope is barely within reach. But when given time to get their footing, their faith shines above their situation. They lean harder into the Lord and draw strength and courage and hope from Him. They trust Him. They believe He is Sovereign and Right. They seek Him for relief from the pain, but they trust He is doing something Good and Holy in their lives.

Let’s take the high road of understanding and compassion when someone we love is facing heartache and loss. BE there for them. Listen. Be quiet. Give them time to work through it, with God and with Faith. Pray without ceasing for them. And watch their faith grow and their hearts soften for others that face what they have faced. They are our example and chosen Lights for Him.

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