“Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay” (Job 13:12).
There were bits of truth in the words spoken by Jobs’ friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Between their blundering interpretations were words that expressed God’s majesty, justice, and sovereignty. Unfortunately, they pieced together their bits of truth and applied them incorrectly to Job’s life.
Job quickly saw through their packaged solution. However, not all those struggling with loss can handle an onslaught of helpful Christians with easy answers. When people go through difficult times and ask for advice—or even if they don’t—it’s tempting to deliver our responses based on our own experiences. Eliphaz argued this way: “Just as I have seen, powers of mischief and sowers of trouble will reap it” (Job 4:8).
The way we interpret and respond to events in our lives is often Scripture-based and Spirit-led. Though we should readily provide encouragement to those w…