Sometimes we just need our friends to tell us how it is. I’ve mentioned before that I’m in a chat group with people whom I went to elementary and high school, but I haven’t mentioned that we’re all now in our late 40s and early 50s, and most of us have at least one or two health issues. Some of us, however, have a few very serious issues that might just get better if a few changes are made. We are none too shy with the directives, either: “Go for a walk! Do some stretches! Don’t drink that! Put that fried chicken down!” We say these things bluntly, yet with love, because we want our friends to be with us for as long as God allows, and being a little healthier in the process surely couldn’t hurt, right? Anyway, my point isn’t that my classmates and I are getting old. It’s that we can speak to each other in honesty, which sometimes isn’t easy. Eliphaz’ words to Job couldn’t have been easy to speak, either. And he waited more than two weeks to speak them, and he waited until he’d heard what Job, his friend, had to say before he offered any advice. I like that about Eliphaz. Plus, he begins his response with uplifting words. He says, “Hey, you’ve done some great things in the past, my friend. Don’t lose heart.” Then he goes into a bunch of stuff that makes us wonder, does he feel this way about Job? Does he think Job has been hiding his evil side all this time? Maybe. What would you think?
Writing prompt: what would you think?
Like him or not, we can see why Eliphaz might think the things he did about his good friend. Have you ever had a good – as in doing good deeds – friend who has been through the wringer? Write some good thoughts about your friend, but then be honest, and write about some flaws. I would encourage you to write in a bit of a poetry form on this one and to offer constructive criticism rather than construct a blatant attack on your friend’s character. (And always keep in mind that we have our own flaws that our friends can write about, too.)