Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

When Silence is Golden
Job 16:2 (NKJV) “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all!
Counselors have thriving businesses today.  We can find secular counselors and religious counselors and counselors who tell people what they want to hear. But often the best counseling is done by just listening and saying nothing.
I often wonder what makes counselors think that they have the answers for other people’s problems when likely they are going to their own therapists for their own problems.  If we use Job as an example, his counselors showed wisdom when they said nothing for seven days.  The minute they began speaking, we, who are told what is really happening, realize that his counselors didn’t have a clue;  but that didn’t keep them from giving counsel.  They approached Job’s problem from visions, from the standpoint of the wisdom of aged men and from the standpoint of religion.  In each case they ASSUMED that Job had sinned and that God was punishing him.  In each case they were dead wrong.
Lessons from Job
Even Job wondered why he was being attacked.   But everyone blamed God and not Satan.  Even hIs wife said, “Curse God and die.” 
The point is that we assume we know the mind of God when we don’t.  We forget that there is a battle going on in heaven between Satan and our God.  I have always said that if the Lord is chastening us for our sins, it does no good unless He tells us for what we are being chastened.  The Lord did not tell Job that he had done anything wrong, and had said that he was one who avoided evil, who apparently had a conscience and who apparently used his riches to help others.
Who Ever Perished Being Innocent?
Obviously there are at least two people in the Bible who suffered even though they were innocent.  Job was one and he is an allegory for the suffering of the Lord.  It is time that we who want to help others need to do more listening and less advising.  We need to make sure that we know what we are talking about before we counsel, whether it be marriage counseling or financial counseling or counseling about unBiblical lifestyles.  And we need to remember that we counsel from weakness.  Only the Lord can counsel from the strength of a sinless life.  He is the best counselor.  
In Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV) we read, ” For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful (or marvelous) Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The Lord is the only marvelous counselor, and He is available to us all. 
Get Good Counsel
You can’t go wrong listening to the counsel of the Lord.  It is found in the Bible.  The rest of us should probably support the hurting by being there.  Most often we should not offer counsel when we really don’t know what the real problem is.  The problems that present themselves are often the result of underlying issues that need to be dealt with between the person and the Lord.
It is true that in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom in making the decisions that we need to make in life.  It is also true that we can listen to miserable counselors and be made more miserable than we were before being counseled.  Fortunately, the Lord is always available and will never give bad counsel. His counsel is found in Mark 1:15 NKJV, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the weeks of June 25 and July 2, 2023

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