Jan. 5 (Daily reading: Job 6-9) “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend” (6:14). My comments today are addressed to one who would give comfort to an ailing friend. I was reminded of this Saturday when a neighbor told me his father is dying from Covid. Job shows us in his response to Bildad that those who suffer need kindness from friends, even if their suffering has weakened their faith. They do not need advice and clichés such as Job’s friends offered. How can we show kindness to a person who is hurting? First, we can just be there, we can listen, and we can pray for them. We can accept their feelings without judgment. We can empathize with them in their pain and share with them that we also struggle when we suffer. Above all, we can reassure them that God loves and cares for them. They do not need to hear our theological argument on why the Lord allows us to suffer! We show kindness to our suffering friends by trusting God to use us to provide for their needs, spiritual, emotional and physical. Many in the ICF do this very well! Thank you, God, for them! “Be kind and loving to each other” (Eph. 4:32, New Century Version).
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