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Jump-Start Your Day

Thursday, June 7th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

COMMISERATION

"Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity...they made an appointment together to come and mourn with him..." (Job 2:11)

 

The intention behind commiserating is normally good. You want to be sympathetic and let your friend know you are there in his/her corner of the boxing ring. But after listening in the break room to all the complaints about the boss or sitting through countless rehearsals of how unfair the ex has been, what real good comes out of the commiseration? Job's supposed "friends" sat down with him in the ash pile. Would it not have been better to extend their hands and pull him out of the ash pile? I'm not talking about mutual moping, that is obviously destructive, but rather, group therapy, the idea that if people hash and rehash a grievance that they will come to better terms with it. Such group therapy pulls the whole group into the ash pile.

 

There is a place for catharsis in the counselor's chamber or down at the church altar. But David said, "...weeping endures for a night", not that it lasts for ten weeks. The way to keep from falling apart is to pull yourself together. (That was a bit simplistic.) Sure, everyone needs a confidante at times. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that you may be healed" (James 5:16). Some hurts never get out till they are talked out. Just make sure the rescue crew you choose doesn't also have a hole in their boat. After Job listened his friends' blather he responded, "I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are you all" (Job 16:2). He was looking for principles, biblical wisdom, a sound exit strategy. Instead they concentrated on past mistakes. "Job, you must have sin in your life. What you are suffering must be payback". Instead of pointing the way, they pointed fingers. They "made an appointment" to mourn "with" him, when they should have come to help dig him out.

 

Consider the word commiseration. It breaks down into the Latin words "com" (together) and "misseratus" (misery). The root for "misery" is "miser" to which the obsolete definition means "a pitiful or unhappy person choosing to live in miserable conditions in order to save money, i.e., a wretch". So commiseration, though we use the word to communicate sympathy, really implies a choice to remain in an unhappy or miserable state of affairs. Job had to look beyond his comforters and look to the divine Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He turned his eyes from the outlook and focused on the uplook. Instead of giving voice to what he thought he gave voice to what he knew, "I know my Redeemer lives!" (Job 19:25) He took mastery over misery. He made the choice to rejoice, even when his whole world lay beneath his feet in ashes. A pile of ashes makes a great platform to build a future on when touched by a miracle of God. And that miracle manifested, in time. The Lord "gave Job twice as much as he had before" (Job 42:10). His setback became his comeback but it didn't happen until he took personal responsibility, quit complaining and began to operate in faith. God will work bad things together for good when we quit commiserating and let Him start commissioning.


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