It is always good to have reliable counsel—the wise aunt, the truth-telling friend, the empathetic cousin. And we should cultivate these relationships, making sure we spend time with trusted folks, not just when we need them, but also when things are good. We can learn a great deal observing wise people from a more casual perspective. When problems aren’t blocking our sight, we get a better view to notice how they do things. We catch subtleties in their responses. We admire their passions and detachment. Hard to see that when you’re preoccupied with your troubles.
When it’s always about us, it’s hard to benefit from wisdom God places around us. Maybe a little less time spent with the “fun crowd” (i.e., folks who sympathize automatically and spout off conventional guidance). Perhaps a little more time with the more difficult “wise crowd,” watching how they do, seeing how they interact, learning to appreciate the arts of balance and patience.
The tensions in Job arise from a prudence deficit. His three “consolers” spout off simplistic explanations and theories that don’t satisfy. Thankfully, a younger man shows up to offer a new perspective. He’s bold and honest, a person whose integrity and worldview jibe with Job. His passion gives weight to his words and his detachment gives them credibility. Fresh outlooks will do that. They’ll challenge our approaches and opinions, shake us where we assumed we were surest. And, in the end, they’ll hone our appreciation for wisdom and candor as we realize they’re much more healing than sympathy and sentiment.
Join us this Thursday evening as a new character comes on the scene and we get a lesson in “what good looks like.” Our conversation begins at 7:30pm CST via Zoom. See you then!
Peace and blessings,