Good Friends With Bad Advice
Drop the beat!
How many of us have them?
Ones you can depend on
How many of us have them?
I can hear the simple melody and hook playing in mind just like it did back in the early 90's while riding shotgun in my dad's red Chevrolet pickup truck. Friends by Whodini, Jam On It by Newcleus, and You Be Illin' by RUN DMC are just a few songs that I distinctively recall being in constant rotation on my dad's old school hip-hop playlist. Friends by Whodini is probably the most popular song of them all simply because of the lyrics.
The word friend is used rather loosely by some people. I've had complete strangers lightheartedly call me "friend" just because I may have done them a small favor or simply because of our frequent encounters. But a true friend, someone you can really depend on isn't found in just any ol' random person you meet. True friends are there for you when you are celebrating life, mourning life, and everything else in-between.
This is exactly what kind of friend Job had in Eliphaz. When Job lost all his children and all his possessions Eliphaz, along with two more of Job's friends, came to comfort and support Job in his time of grief. Job's grief was so great that he was loss for words. In fact, Job 2 states the three friends sat with Job in utter silence for seven days and seven nights. Sometimes there are no comforting words we can provide to the bereaved. Yet, support can be demonstrated by just sitting with them in their grief.
Job 3 reveals what Job said once he finally broke the silence. It's a pretty dark chapter. He regrets the day he was born. He wishes that he would have just died at birth instead of living and enduring the pain of losing all that was dear to him. His soul was rightfully so in despair and he did a fantastic job of expressing just how gloomy his thoughts were.
Then in Job 4, we see Eliphaz's response to Job's cry. Here's a small insert of what Eliphaz said:
Job 4: 7-9
7 “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?
Where were the upright ever destroyed?
8 As I have observed, those who plow evil
and those who sow trouble reap it.
9 At the breath of God they perish;
at the blast of his anger they are no more.
After Job had just cried his heart out in despair, Eliphaz basically tells Job that he somehow caused this evil to come upon himself. Well, I guess Job found out who to call on to pour salt on his open wounds! However, Eliphaz's logic wasn't completely off. We do reap what we sow, right? And considering Job lost everything, it's understandable that Eliphaz thought Job sowed some terrible seeds and was reaping his unfortunate harvest.
Yet, we know per Job 1, that Job did nothing wrong at all. Job was "a perfect and upright man" in the eyesight of God. Job's lost was a premeditated attack from Satan to get Job to lose all hope in God. It had absolutely nothing to do with what Job did wrong. On the contrary, he endured hardships because he did everything right and God trusted that Job would not lose faith in Him.
Eliphaz's advice just goes to show that sometimes good friends give bad advice. Eliphaz obviously cared for Job and tried to comfort him in the best way he knew how. He had the right intentions but the wrong message. If Job would have listened to Eliphaz's advice, he would have incorrectly blamed himself for his tragedy. He would have beat himself up over losing his own children due to some fairy-tale sin that he must've committed... all because his friend had good intentions but terrible advice.
So if you have good friends, that's awesome! We all need people to depend on in this life. However, always use discernment when you take advice from anyone. God is the ultimate counselor, so run it by Him for clarity. Bad advice from good friends can leave us in an even worse scenario than you started with. But God, is a great friend with amazing advice that can turn even the worse scenarios into a great scenario... just ask Job.
Well, that's all people! Be blessed, be encouraged, and don't take heed to bad advice!