Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
What an odd scripture choice for Mother’s Day week, right? Well, this is my thinking this morning as I ponder the upcoming weekend. Number one… I am blessed. My 83 year old Mother, who truthfully puts me to shame in her strength, ability and agility, lives next door. I watch as she meanders out at 8 a.m., fully dressed and make up donned and surveys her well-groomed lawn and flower beds. She cooks dinner for 30ish people every other weekend and not just a small meal. But multiple dishes and always amazing desserts. She is one of 8 children, 4 remaining. She has loved and lost family, including a son and husband she adored. She set the example before us; when I ask her how she did not blame God when she lost my brother Richard at the age of 19. Her response was “How can I blame the only One who will allow me to see him again.”
Yes… I’m blessed.
So now for what got me thinking about Job’s wife. Not everyone is so blessed.
Before I throw Mrs. Job under the bus, I have to acknowledge that she too had just lost ten children at once and her means for livelihood. She was no doubt fighting depression and anxiety as none of us could likely comprehend. But her response to Job was so bitter.
I’ve known bitter women. They have an ugliness inside that, regardless of their outward beauty, makes me cringe. I’ve known bitter men too, they ain’t handsome. I’ve watched the damage they’ve done to their families, even though many are unaware that it’s an issue. It’s hard enough to face the battles of this world, without having a discouraging enemy living in your camp.
So Shari, again… how does this celebrate Mother’s Day?
We need to look at Job’s life and commit to ourselves that we will not be anyone’s Mrs. Job or Mr. Job’s friends, who added salt to his already open sores.
Learn to Respond
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
That sounds much better than having your friends and family hide from you as suggested in Psalm 64:2-3
Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words.
That’s how I view the discouragement of people who without regard for what someone is going through, use their words to hurt rather than heal.
But I’ve experienced firsthand the healing words of family and friends who soothe my soul in times of trouble. I’m so grateful that God has put them in my life.
Be the reason someone is grateful.
Learn to Reason
While I know that nobody is perfect, and myself included can lose touch with logic and speak in frustration words of discouragement. But there are times when there’s no room for a lack of logic.
Someone needs you, and they need you now!
Be the reason someone never doubts your loyalty.
Learn Who to Rebuke
When Peter rebuked the Lord, which was not his finest hour, the Lord said in Matthew 16:23:
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Jesus said to Peter that he was Satan! While I don’t profess to understand the theological depth of that conversation, I understand that Jesus didn’t truly think Peter was Satan, but that perhaps Satan was controlling the conversation.
Ya think that happens to us? Oh yea. If Satan can use us and others to discourage us and others, under the guise of our stupidity he’ll do it.
When the feeling of rebuke comes into your mind, and you may be on the verge of tearing someone you love down further than they already are, rebuke Satan. Not your loved ones.
Be the reason someone feels supported.
Learn to Rejoice
I’ve not always appreciated or understood my Mother. I’ve been far from the perfect daughter. But I rejoice in the fact that my Mother brought me up with manners, respect and accountability for behaviors. She taught me that love was unconditional for children, therefore I understood that love was unconditional with God.
Be the reason someone feels loved and rejoices for you.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
We all have a reason to rejoice!