In this story of Job there is a one friend who has yet to speak: Elihu. His reasons for holding off his "wisdom" previously related to his lack of age, but Elihu decides that ultimately wisdom can be known by any person. Though he claims to have good intentions, I have found in my own life that there are people who desire to "give me a word from the Lord" but who are really just giving me their own opinions. Knowing Job's situation, this seems like one of those times where someone has advice that isn't truly from God. I found this picture from despair.com, the makers of quality demotivational posters, and I feel like it's fitting for the place Job finds himself in every time one of his friends speaks. I read something recently about how Christians tend to answer questions that aren't being asked. How many times here have Job's friends done that to him? And now Elihu shows up with yet another "word from the Lord" that is nothing more than personal opinion. This is a strong lesson for all of us to guard our words carefully and to seek God prayerfully before we speak.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.