I’m taking a professional development class through my school this summer on communication. One of the main points we talked about today was listening and barriers between our students and us. A key factor that contributes to miscommunication is passing judgment on this listener based on bias or assumption before fully understanding their situation.
Job endures countless hours of berating from his friends who don’t really see where he’s coming from.
My commentary states: “Eliphaz points out that Job is obviously guilty of sin…all of which Job denies and pleads for their mercy, stating that he is well aware of God’s power as well as his own innocence.”
Speaking from personal experience, nothing is worse than catching the blame for something you didn’t do. A few summers ago, I served in a leadership position overseeing the staff body of about a hundred college students who worked with volunteers and campers in some capacity. I was on a team of about six other leaders who were responsible for keeping camp running—pouring into our staff, hosting nightly parties, acting as a liaison between other entities at camp.
Our mentor, Mike, told as at the beginning of the summer that we were about to be blamed for just about anything and everything that went wrong. We were the buffer to catch the fall out from what ever broke during the next three months. There were so many moving parts at camp that if something went wrong at a party, or during camper registration, or in the middle of the night, or between some staffers, or on the ropes course we would just show up, hear someone’s problem and deal with what ever the situation was. A lot of the times people would blame us outright even if the fault wasn’t ours. Mike said when this happened, don’t try to explain. Don’t try to argue or justify yourself. Just bite your lip, say “Yes ma’am (or sir)” and deal with the problem.
It was a long summer.
I definitely think there is a time and place to hold ground and defend yourself. There are too many shoes our there to make ourselves constant doormats. At the end of the day, I don’t think Job is wrong when we states his case and falls on what he knows is true:
But now be so kind as to look at me.
Would I lie to your face?
Relent, do not be unjust;
reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.
Is there any wickedness on my lips?
Can my mouth not discern malice?