Topic: Misreading Others
Text: Job 4:12-21
Key Verse: “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” (Job 4:17).
It is a common thing for people to misread the actions or experiences of others. Oftentimes, this happens when we have developed a fixed idea of a person or people. At other times, we may be so blindfolded by our personal experiences or background that we cannot accommodate other perspectives in life. But one of the most painful experiences is to be misjudged by another person, more so when it involves a person you trust and whose opinions you respect.
Imagine how Job must have felt when his trusted friends who visited him during his travail completely misunderstood him and charged him with sin. At such a time, Job needed loving and comforting company to keep his spirit up. On the contrary, his friends that responded took turn to lecture him on how such experience could not happen to a person unless he was a sinner. While resigning to God’s will about his losses and distress, Job expressed his anguish and confusion of mind. To this, Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends responded and reproved him for perceived impatience and discontent.
He drew much from a personal vision he had so as to convince Job of mortal man’s feebleness and despicable state in comparison to God’s purity and infinite sense of justice. He did not expect Job to continue to lay claim to innocence and implying that God was punishing him unjustly. Eliphaz’s logic was right but, in the context in which it was said, it amounted to misreading his innocent friend who was undergoing a severe physical and emotional torture. In much the same way, we often react to people in ways that worsen their situations because we do not take time to empathise with them or, at least, read them in their contexts. We should strive to be more sensitive in our dealings with others.
Thought for the day: Misunderstandings often start with misunderstanding the other person.
Bible Reading in one Year: 1 Chronicles 21-24