So Job’s first friend to speak up starts with “Would you mind if I said something? It doesn’t really matter, I’m gonna say it anyway.” And he ends with, “I’m only saying this for your own.”
Man, don’t we all know someone like that? Or a few someones? Seriously, do people listen to themselves? And the hard part is, more often than not, they honestly believe they are being helpful.
This isn’t how grief works. Job explains it so well. He’s in torment. He’s talking through his pain. He’s entitled to his pain.
This is the “you must have brought it on yourself” friend. Such comfort! I mean, it does inherently include a way to make things better: just do what’s right and everything will be fine.
Except Job hadn’t actually done anything to deserve what had happened to him, and if his words were a little harsh, well, he had reasons for them being so.
The thing is, this friend had no real idea of what Job could have done. He had no actions or words to point to. He was making assumptions about Job’s character based solely on his circumstances. Some friend. Again, I’m pretty sure we all know someone just like this.
Friendly reminder: don’t be this person. Don’t ask if someone wants to hear your opinion if you’re going to give it anyway. Or, you know, better yet, seriously, don’t give your opinion if it is unwanted. Just sit with the person who is grieving. Let them tell you what they need or want. It is about them, not you. It is about their pain and need, not your discomfort with their sadness.