January 22, 2022
As a pastor, I faced many times when others sought advice. Perhaps they were considering a career change. Maybe they were thinking about getting married or having children. At times, folks asked me for advice about how to reach out to their non-believing neighbors and friends. Sometimes the question was a doctrinal one such as “Are there other ways to heaven besides Jesus?” (there aren’t . . .). One brother even asked me for investment advice (I had none . . . ).
In other cases, my role was to be a vessel of God’s comfort. Hurting, grieving families needed support. Sometimes they had questions like “why” and “why now?” Other families needed my love when their adult children wandered into sin. Some grieved their own sin so deeply that it was almost debilitating.
I know I have not always offered the best advice or the strongest answer. In fact, I shudder when I think of some of the answers I gave when I was a young pastor. At the same time, I pray no one has concluded about me that I’ve been a “worthless quack” as I’ve tried to minister to him or her. That’s what Job concluded about his friends (Job 13:4). They had nothing to offer him as his soul was grieving. They thought they were wise, but their words only wounded him. Indeed, Job told them the wisest thing they could do was just be silent. They needed to listen rather than speak.
May God help us to minister differently to hurting people!
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you have a tendency to speak without thinking? To speak when you should be listening?
TODAY’S PRAYER: “God, grant me wisdom from You to minister to others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Job 15:1-18:22