Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Letting Someone Find the Words

When a person is desperate, they may have trouble getting the words out. Think about it. When you're upset, you may get tongue tied trying to express yourself. Some are more naturally articulate than others, which may make it easier for them to express themselves, but we still need to give everyone room to express, especially when they are sharing a deep concern of their heart.

When someone comes to us to share what is on their heart, one way to kill the spirit of openness is to pick at their words. As followers of Christ who are told time and again to be patient, we should let the person speak and find the words.

If he or she is speaking about some hurt we may have done, we must avoid being defensive, and with the Holy Spirit's help, discern the heart of the matter, which goes beyond mere words. The instinct of self preservation which leads one to be defensive can be a hinderance to living the Christian life.

How harsh are honest words! But your arguments prove nothing. Do you mean to argue about the words I use, to scrutinize the words of someone desperate? (Job 6:25,26)

What do you say to someone who is in a desperate situation? Job's three friends, finding him in despair, filled the air with high-sounding advice. But their main arguments only made Job feel worse and at the end God dismissed them all with a scowl.


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