Job 33:1-12 – BEYOND ACTIVE LISTENING
- Job 33:1 (NLT)
- Job 33:2 (NLT)
- Job 33:3 (NLT)
- Job 33:4 (NLT)
- Job 33:5 (NLT)
- Job 33:6 (NLT)
- Job 33:7 (NLT)
- Job 33:8 (NLT)
- Job 33:9 (NLT)
- Job 33:10 (NLT)
- Job 33:11 (NLT)
- Job 33:12 (NLT)
Job 33:1-12 – BEYOND ACTIVE LISTENING
It’s always the way! You are enjoying the serenity. Time to reflect. A little peace away from the demanding voices of the world. Just as you breathe a sigh of relief, someone intrudes upon the silence. They misunderstand the quiet space for an opportunity to speak. As if it is there just for them!
He sits in the dust and bears the pain of his extreme medical nightmare in SILENCE. One tiny piece of relief for Job. But no! That’s when ELIHU explodes into the silent lull like the cracking of a whip, or as he puts it “a wineskin that has swollen to the point of bursting” (Job 32:19). Oh, please, give Job a break!
Elihu doesn’t leave you with a good first impression. He lets everyone know how intelligent, inspired, and unbiased he is. Humility isn’t his strong point (Job 32). He believes that all men are created equal (Job 33:4-6). but some are more right than others. He says “I speak the truth” (Job 33:3).
On the surface he appears to know what ACTIVE LISTENING is all about. He repeats back to Job in a reflective listening style what Job has said in summary. He says “You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin; I am innocent; I have no guilt. God is picking a quarrel with me, and He considers me His enemy. He puts my feet in the stocks and watches my every move’” (Job 33:9-11 NLT). That basically sums it up. He appears to have heard well, but there are a few flaws in his listening skills.
Ever met someone who tells you what you have SAID and refuses to let you tell them what you MEANT? “But you said you were sinless!” That’s not what Job meant. Job said in effect “I haven’t done anything deliberately wrong!” Innocent, not sinless. Big difference!
Romans 3:23 (NLT) makes it quite clear that “… everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Job is quite willing for God to tell him what he has done wrong. He prays, Job 13:23 (NLT) “Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin.” Remember that right from the start God says of Job that “He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil” (Job 1:8 NLT). Now that’s the kind of life I want to live (preferably without the open sores and pain).
It is obvious that Elihu has his own agenda because after his attempt at active listening he launches his attack. He says “But you are wrong, and I will show you why …” (Job 33:12 NLT). I thought the point of active listening is to verify that you have heard right, not try to hit them between the eyes with what you think is wrong!
When I listen to others I so often bring my own agenda, biases, judgments, assumptions, and false beliefs to the table and miss the whole point of what is said. This can distort the truth. It seems to me that the true art of active listening, as a follower of Christ, is also to listen for what God has said and is saying in that person’s life. Rather than bursting at the seams to look for a weak link in someone elses argument, I will pray for help and read God’s Word, carefully making sure that I have understood what is being said and compassionately seek to bring God’s perspective and hope to the table. God’s Word says “… we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, …” (Ephesians 4:15 NLT).
In the midst of the agonising thought of going to the cross Jesus said “I want Your will to be done, not Mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT). He lived His life actively listening to God the Father in the power of the Spirit.
Perhaps the question is not whether or not I am right or that you are wrong. The question is what would it look like to live in dependence upon Christ, and respond to His Word? Big risk! It might mean admitting that my agendas are seriously flawed. It might mean that no matter how skilled I am at listening to what others are saying, beyond that I will need heavens wisdom (James 1:5). It might mean that I stop judging others long enough to let God speak. Actively listening to God.
Created over 1 year ago