Then Job said to the Lord, I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted. [You said to me] Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. [I had virtually said to You what You have said to me:] Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak; I will demand of You, and You declare to me. I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You. Therefore I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 Amplified Bible
As I’ve let this scripture marinate in my mind, I noticed that, like Job, I am also darkening and obscuring counsel about some areas of my life. I think I may have rationalized many of my feelings about how I was treated in the past in whatever way that made me feel better about where I was in life. I think I have dismissed the ways of life that people I know have chosen because I didn’t understand them. Now, I think I should have tried harder to understand their perspective, instead of creating my opinion of their situation based on my perspective.
Essentially, I’ve been telling myself a story that isn’t true. I think I may have been more convincing than all of Job’s friends and family combined. In fact, I have been telling myself multiple stories about different things over many years. And by telling myself these stories, I’ve essentially been closing off my world and shutting out all potential advice for quite a while. Obviously now I can see that this isn’t a smart thing to do. But in the moments when I only saw other people’s mistakes and none of their triumphs, I found it difficult to continue to listen to those people.
At the very least now I know that I should at least give those people an opportunity to share what they have learned from their mistakes. And by learning from their mistakes, I may also actually learn about and from their triumphs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is the approach that I think I should have, just because it’s God’s word (that’s a great reason on its own!). But, it also makes sense for me to be more open to understanding other people’s perspectives because it’s a different approach, I’m looking for different results, and the only way to get something different out is to put something different in.