Job 15:1-16: In our reading in Job today I was almost embarrassed for them. They sounded like school children bantering back and forth.
2 “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge”,
3 “Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?”
On and on this “friend” of Job laid into him telling him that the bad things that had happened was because of his reluctance to admit his sin. How sad it is when we are believers hurt each other with our tongues even when we justify it by saying we are helping them. There is constructive conversation that can help others, but it is always done in love, not anger or hurt. It attacks the problem never the person. It leads them back to the Lover of their Soul even when they don’t want to face Him. Our conversation should be filled with kindness, gentleness, and spoken under control.
When encouraging someone who has left the path remember they may not even see where they are wandering far away. The best thing to do is pray first. Pray for their eyes to be opened. Pray for the right timing to speak. Pray for the right words when the time is right. Pray for a receptive heart when the words are said. Pray for desire to stick with their commitment when they do make needed change. Pray that their strongholds will fall and they will be ready to come back into the fold.
Until they do, hold your words carefully and release any hateful words spoken by others. Sometimes the older we get words are the only weapon we have to fight with and some use them carelessly. Don’t let their hurtful words hold. you captive. Forgive as you would want to be forgiven.