June 9
Job 2:11-13, 22:5-11

Not-so-friendly advice

When three of Job’s friends heard how he was suffering, they decided to go and comfort him. Job’s children had died, all his animals had been stolen, and now his body was covered with sores.

At first, Job’s friends didn’t even recognize him, but when they did, they tore their clothes to show how upset they were. They sat in silence with him for seven days. Then, one by one, each of them started telling Job why all this had happened to him. One said that Job had sinned against God and that he should repent while another said that he was being punished for something his children had done. However, Job could not think of any wrong he, or his children, had done.

How can I encourage someone who is feeling down?

We all go through times when almost everything seems to go wrong. Perhaps you have noticed your mom or dad looking upset, or a friend who seems down in the dumps.

Have you been discouraged or worried lately? If you have, you can feel and understand what the other person is going through. That makes it easier to say the right thing to them because you can say what you would have like to hear when you were down. “The God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” 2 Corinthians 1:4.

Rather than trying to point out possible reasons for what happened, like Job’s friends did, ask your friend to tell you how she feels. If your friend seems to become more upset as she talks to you, it is only because you are listening and allowing her to get rid of her frustration and anger.

Verse for today

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11