One Sunday, I knew someone had taken my Bible home thinking it was theirs. The same day my Bible disappeared, a man had accidentally taken a sister’s Bible home from the church. Knowing the same thing had happened with mine, I announced that my Bible was missing and reminded whoever had done it that they needed to check the name on a Bible before they took it home. Well, nobody came forward to confess that they had taken mine. But I knew they had done it.
A week later, I found my Bible where I had left it by the baptistery. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Folks in the church still remind me of how funny it was that I was sure some lamebrain had taken it and then it appeared miraculously later.
Your perspective is a narrow window
Eliphaz depended on his own perspective to view everyone else’s life. He told Job how everything was, based on his own perspective. Like a child shaking a present and guessing what it is, we are all just guessing at life. There are so many factors that our beyond our sensory analysis.
If I heard an Eliphaz hammering on a Job-like friend of mine, I would want to punch him in the mouth. Enough with your limited perspective, man. He says, “Behold, this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.” (Job 5:27). Right, buddy. So, I am supposed to know this for myself because you have searched it out with your limited abilities and came to drastic conclusions with the impressions you gathered?
Small Men see through small windows
While it is human nature to analyze and assess what we see and experience, we should not limit others to the findings of our investigations. Even science is severely limited by testing and analysis. We cannot understand everything in a clear, non-biased perspective. Not that we should not try to investigate, but we should always remember God’s perspective is much larger than our own and He is not limited to our perspectives.
“I know what you are going through,” is one of the fanciest, small-mindedest, big lies people use with those who are suffering. Even if you lost a child, you do not know exactly what another person who lost a child is going through because you did not lose their child. They don’t need to you to pontificate, just be present.
Eliphaz and his two friends were doing Job a good service by just being there. When they opened their mouths, everything fell apart. Do a hurting soul a favor… hush your mouth.
Learn more about suffering and how to love others through their pain with this daily study series on Job.