I work close to the only Starbucks in town, and some days, I walk there during a break. I sit and enjoy a warm drink while reading.
Recently, I took my Bible and was reading through Job when I heard a familiar voice. A friend had just returned to town from vacation and stopped to ask how I was and catch up on life. As we wrapped up our conversation, another friend stopped to say hi. She had her young granddaughter with her, and we enjoyed a sweet conversation.
My friends smiled, connected, encouraged, and shared life with me.
Having just been reading about Job’s friends and their not-so-encouraging words, I was grateful.
When Job’s friends first heard of his troubles, they seemed so intentional about helping him. They set aside a time to visit him together. They sat with him to give him companionship yet space. But it wasn’t long before they pounced.
Accountability is important. We need friends who will ask us the tough questions and call us out when we’re avoiding truth, but how we approach people and when we approach them are important. And we can’t simply gauge whether or not we’ve had an impact on our friends by their response. Sometimes the tough things we say and do seem to drive someone away, but they can also be a piece of truth that soaks in enough and helps them face something.
Confrontation is important at times. Sitting in silence is important at times. Wisdom to know when each is needed is important at all times.