Words Matter

Curse God and die. Those were the words she uttered. Curse God and die. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) God knew the heart of the man Satan was attacking. He knew where his faith and hope were placed. He allowed Satan to to go after Job, but Job’s life had to be spared. Sores covered Job’s body. Pain enveloped him. And his wife? His wife told him to curse God and die. I am no marriage counselor, but I am fairly certain those were not the words Job needed to hear from his beloved. I am sorry. Here are clean cloths for you. Have some pain medicine. Let me help you clean the sores. There are so many words she could have spoken. So many phrases she could have used, and yet the only words she utters are, “curse God and die.” A blow to the head may have been gentler. Pouring salt into his already aching wounds would have caused less pain. Instead, she encouraged him to depart from the earth. She could have prayed for her husband. Job’s wife could have stormed Heaven’s gates on her husband’s behalf. But she didn’t. Neither did she follow Job’s lead in remaining faithful. She did not see the hope, and was not walking the road of faith. To the contrary, Job’s wife blamed God, saying He was no longer worthy of being praised. As I read the reaction of Job’s wife, I began to see clearly. I saw the times my husband needed me to encourage him, to...

When Our Love Turns Toxic

It’s one of my greatest weaknesses. It leads to conflict, tension, and at its worst, broken relationships. I’m speaking of my untamed tongue! Regardless of my good intentions, there are times when, somewhere between intent and delivery, my message gets twisted, wounding my listener. When that happens, I’m left with incredible remorse and a resounding, why?! Why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut? Why’d I feel the need to “fix” that? And why’d I become so aggravated when my friend didn’t heed my brilliant advice? I know I’m not alone. In fact, it appears mankind has a universal desire to be right and convince others that they are. I believe the answer is a complicated mixture of pride, fear, and perhaps impatience. Consider the story of Job and his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. I imagine some of you are clenching your fists and your teeth already as you remember the harsh accusations these men made. The phrase, “don’t kick a man when he’s down” comes to mind. But today I challenge us to see ourselves in this narrative. I also challenge us to take a step back, focusing not on their ultimate verbal explosion, but their rather gentle beginnings. You can read the passage here, but to summarize, when Job’s friends heard of all he’d suffered, they went to him. Remember, they didn’t have automobiles or mini-marts, so this involved a certain level of commitment. When they saw him, they wailed loudly, which indicates they cared deeply for him. Then, they sat on the ground with him for seven days, not speaking. Why? Because they saw his suffering...