Sometimes You Have to Just Stop Talking


Job 16:1    Then Job answered:
2     “I have heard many such things;
        miserable comforters are you all.
3     Have windy words no limit?
        Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?


Job’s “friends” had been giving him all kinds of advice. These were his the “cup is half empty” friends. This is not what he needed to hear and he was expressing his frustration. They had gone on talking for far too long!


There will be times in life when we find ourselves in the position of Job’s friends. Someone will be in need of our comfort and support. Let’s take a cue here on how to respond to someone who is struggling and in need. Sometimes you have to just stop talking!

Job didn’t need their constant barrage of thoughts and excuses for what was happening to him. He was simply in misery. There are times when we need the companionship of a good friend who is willing to stop talking, stop trying to explain everything, stop trying to see the bad that you have obviously done to cause this difficulty — and sit in solidarity while listening.

This takes me to Jesus and his moment with Mary and Martha. Lazarus had died and was already in the tomb. Jesus arrived to find the two women distraught. He didn’t try to give them some lengthy explanation but instead we get the shortest verse of the Bible, “Jesus wept.” He stopped and silently stood with them in their pain and wept. Jesus knew when to stop talking and when to simply “be” with his friends.

When wondering how to respond to a friend in need and pain, consider the options. We can either be like Job’s “friends” who seemed to be provoked to keep on talking — or like Jesus who quietly joined with them in their pain. Maybe some of us need to simply stop talking.


Lord, help me to respond the way that you would respond to others. Help me to know when to talk and when to keep quiet.  Amen.

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