love

Friendship: Job and Suffering.

Job Painting

 

Job 2:11-13 The Message (MSG)

Job's Three Friends

"Three of Job's friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.

When they first caught sight of him, they couldn't believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground.

Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering."

Note: they could only do it for 7 days. When humans do not understand they generally become judgmental and controlling. If they don't have answers the start filling in the blanks themselves. They begin problem-solving because they feel helpless and the pain this person is feeling is now affecting them. It is now affecting my serenity my peace and I want it to stop. Many times you will see other’s defense mechanisms come into ply over your pain. I.e. avoidance, control, aggression, manipulation, etc. which we see in Job's wife. The trial in another person's life is not only teaching, molding, and shaping them; but it is also showing me the other side of suffering this is God's side. He hears our cries and stays with us, he works with their own free will but doesn't control us. He doesn't leave us in the midst of our pain, and doesn't steal our pain from us. He allows for the mystery of suffering to do it’s work and doesn’t get mad, judge, or abandon us in the process. Even if we are not doing it well.

There are two sides of healthy development in relationship:

1. Dealing with my process of trial, hardship, suffering and success.

2. Dealing with another’s success, or hardship, suffering, pain.

Which side are you on today? Maybe both. With whom and how are you doing in becoming more Christlike? Are you using defense mechanisms and being codependent, or Christlike?

Job 4:1 we see Job’s friend Eliphaz not being able to hold onto grace. He couldn’t be present with Job’s suffering, because He couldn’t understand it, it wasn’t “his” way. He had to “do” something. So he became a human with human ideas to do something (Like he was in Chapter 2 of Job). His defense mechanism was “intellectualizing. In contrast, we have Job’s friend Bildad the Shuhite in Chapter 8:1 who had to find something to blame: Job’s children must have been sinning. He then lectured Job with a lot of wisdom, that is cognitively sound, and can be used, but was misplaced in Job’s case. Zophar on the other hand, just told Job to repent and then everything would be fine. His tendency was to “minimize” what Job was going through. Just hurry and repent and it will all be ok. Job finally says:

“Can’t you guys just give me a break?”

“I’m dying here!”

Generally, we do not want advice, or lectures, or idea’s. We really want direct/immediate relief from the pain we are in. We can’t fix it, but we can give some relief. You can be a human “pain killer’ for a moment, Sympathy (not pity) goes a long way. Most of us just want someone to care about what we are going through, not judge our process and to real ize we are probably doing the best we can. If we could do better, wouldn’t we?

Let’s be the friend that Job really needed. The ones who enter into his pain, protest and pray with him.

Generosity: Are you generous?

Let's make generosity simple, because it truly is...give what you have. If you have money-give it. If you have time-give it. If you can give approval, spread it around. If you can offer acceptance-offer it. If you can smile, you should. Say Thank you. Have patience. Be generous with your compliments. Its nothing more than giving...

The most powerful forms of generosity are usually practiced in our closest, most intimate relationships. It is here where we love generously, get over transgressions quickly, provide patience, accept someone where they are, pray for them instead of complain about them...we find mercy and compassion for their condition whatever it may be and we do it freely and willingly. While we are doing all things generously in our intimate relationships, we must remember to not use generosity as a tool of control, entitlement or reciprocation. Generosity is a Godly act and is act of love. Love them as God loves: without strings attached. Without expecting anything in return. 

Additionally, for those whom you are most generous and most concerned about in your "generosity circle", trust God is doing good work in them. Trust that God is for more concerned, more aware, and more committed to their behavior than you could ever be-be sure to address the plank in your own eye before addressing the splinter in theirs. Generosity is not about control or behavior modification, it is freely given out of love and service. 

We are discussing generosity in depth these next two weeks on Conversations with Cinthia. The first show in this series is airing this Sunday at 4PM MST on Faith Talk 1360. 

 

Part 2: Love A Man Well (Notes)

We wanted to share one portion from the copious notes and sessions Cinthia has shared on loving a man and the gender differences she sees in her practice. Here are some excerpts from her notes and we hope they will help you process why it is important from a woman to control how you communicate your emotions in your relationship with a man. Please listen to the radio show on Sunday on Faithtalk1360 4PM MST for more, but this might help set the stage for one important aspect of the broadcast. 

Here are the notes: 

Communicating Emotions: One of the things that comes naturally to women is how they express their emotions. When they talk to their girlfriends, women just have feelings, they’re big and perhaps kind of a dramatic, and in a passionate manner. Woman can even be somewhat reactionary. This is how I (Cinthia) am when I am speaking: You can really see things on my face. It comes really naturally to me to be really animated. I use my hands, I get tearful, my voice rises. I use lots of analogies; I’m really, really verbal; I talk really quickly and that doesn’t always go over well with men. I have to do things in order to moderate and adjust this. So I need to speak slower; I use less words; I take some time and am careful about how animated I am, and moderate intensity. There are a lot of feelings and they are often. 

Cinthia account: 

It’s so funny to me when I’m teaching women about men and I say to

them, ‘Do you understand that the scariest thing to a man is a woman’s

feelings?’ They will go to war, they will go to Afghanistan but they

won’t take on their wife having a "bad" feeling. Because they just don’t

know where it’s going to go. They don’t know how to fix it. They don’t

know what’s happening. It starts to then be about them and they are

not a good provider, a good husband, a good lover, a good friend, a

good father or whatever it is. It is very scary. Men come into my office

and they are white-faced because they know they are getting

something. Inevitably, it makes no difference. It cracks me up. A

couple will come into my office, sit down, and I will say, ‘Ok, How are

things?’ The man inevitably, always looks at the woman and says, ‘I

think we’re OK?’ Or he responds, ‘Are we OK?’ The woman will say,

‘Yeah, we are, we had a few little issues.’ then she’ll follow up with, ‘You know what I’m

talking about honey.’ And he’ll always respond, ‘I’m not sure’. This is because

(Thank the Lord) men are really hard-wired to forget. They don’t truly do not

remember. They don’t track information the way women track. Whereas, I can bring

something up from two years ago as a reference point for me as to

why I feel the way I feel today. I can say it to my friends, I can say it to

clients, I can say it to my husband, you know ‘this is why I’m so-and-

so, because when we did this and this at this restaurant...’ He will look

at me and go ‘What are you talking about? What?’

 

What women need to understand about men, when woman do that to a man: express emotions without processing and expect them to remember it all...it goes nuclear. If women do not present their emotions well, men feel totally bombarded. They feel ambushed. They are broad-sided out of left-field and they automatically think they are now in the one-man-down position. They don’t remember and do not have that in their little weaponry like women do. If women are not careful, it’s like a loaded gun. When explaining to men the reason women do this is that it creates an emotional reference point for them. That’s all women are doing. Some women bring it up to be accusatory and keeping score but what really is happening to women emotionally is they are building this emotional grid for themselves, so they can say, "wow, it’s like the same thing, the first time you brought me flowers I’ll never forget how I felt." The guy will be respond, ‘Oh, really, when did I do that?’ They just don’t register the information in the same way. They can feel really, really ambushed when women start bringing stuff up from the past because it is an immediate trigger "Oh no, I thought that was resolved and now I have a big emotional issue I’ve got to deal with. I thought we’d put that to rest but now she’s bringing it up again, re-igniting it again," And what a woman is saying to the man is not necessarily re-hashing it. A woman is trying to give a man a frame of reference as to why that was important to her and why the issue that’s happening today is making it harder for her. Because she remembers what happened to her a year and a half ago when they had that experience.

So, if a woman can give him a little frame of reference and say this is why we are talking about this, "I’m not trying to ambush you" or be honest and say , ‘Yeah, I faked you out. I told you it was resolved and I’ve been carrying it for a year and a half." Yet that is just mean and harmful to your relationship. Men do not do well with this and it is detrimental. Deal with the issue as it rises. Therefore, men start to act very afraid, thinking that they were ok and then finding out that we’re not ok...its a precipice of the unknown. They feel like the rug is pulled out from under them and they can’t trust anymore. So, it’s really important that women address men and are upfront, "Yes, this is resolved." If a woman brings it up in the future, it’s only as an example for why I feel the way I feel. It isn’t because it’s unresolved. If it’s not resolved, a woman really needs to be honest and communicate to the the man that "We probably can’t talk about this anymore but we will have to talk about it again because I’m not ok with "xyz" that occurred." Men are more literal, and compartmentalize, so they can be offended when I refer to the past as a way to explain the present. The past does not explain the present issue at hand. 

We would love to hear feedback and cannot wait for you to hear the show!