Close

October 20, 1994

Anybody Can Be a Consultant

Share With Friends

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: “When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk.” JOB 18:1-2
It’s amazing how quickly the fixer-uppers of the world show up when we find ourselves overcome with trauma, misery, and trouble. They love to play the role of the white knight, and the deeper the trouble, the more dramatic the rescue.
Although Job’s friends provided some comfort at the beginning, they couldn’t resist putting on their helper hats. They had lots of good theories about why he was suffering. They peered into the deepest recesses of his life, informing Job of all the things that were wrong and what he should do about them. As armchair quarterbacks who had never played the game, they gave him the best advice they could.
At best, however, Job’s friends were simply consultants who did not realize that the most obvious explanation is not always the right one. They couldn’t comprehend the depths of his experience and the pain of his life, and they certainly didn’t understand the theology of what they were discussing.
Every one of his friends thought Job was suffering because he had done something wrong. That made their argument easy. It sounded so logical, so fair, so reasonable, and so spiritual. The only problem was that they were wrong. So instead of helping Job, they lambasted him with thirty-four chapters of baseless blabbing.
We won’t adopt their theology, but we can learn a thing or two from Job’s friends. Their example teaches us that we should be careful about floating out solutions and answers to people who are facing difficulty. To give conclusive advice without really understanding the situation is foolhardy, perhaps even dangerous. We also should be careful about buying into answers from others too quickly. If Job had begun to agree with his friends at any point along the way, he would have been in a heap of trouble by the time God showed up at the end of the book.
How quick are you to offer advice to people who are hurting? Are you a true friend or merely a consultant?

Share With Friends