“I have heard all this before.
What miserable comforters you are!
Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
What makes you keep on talking?
I could say the same things if you were in my place.
I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
But if it were me, I would encourage you.
I would try to take away your grief.” (Job 16:2-5 | NLT)
When Job suffered, his friends sat with him and mourned for days. Then they spoke. They were doing a better job when they were silent. But we have a habit of interrupting mourning to offer our expert advice.
Within 24 hours of the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, people all over began posting their favorite memes about gun control, from NRA priests to pacifist earth-mothers. And everyone knew they were brilliant and their opponents were stupid. And we all knew who was to blame, though we had different ideas about it.
We should be ashamed of ourselves. Now that the mourning is over for many of us who did not directly experience the tragedy, more are coming out to speak on this gun control issue that has taken the spotlight. It seems this tragedy is the 9/11 of our new decade, and we will let it define us. We weren’t supposed to let 9/11 define us, but we did. And now we’re doing it all over again.
As the next year turns over, don’t let a tragedy define you, and don’t let the reactions of others define you. Don’t cling to idols of any type. They will not save you.
I’ll tell you what, if something that terrible ever happens to me, there are a lot of people I am acquainted with and see posts from every day that I would not want around me in my mourning.