“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” This is the first verse found in the book of Job. From this very first verse, we see what kind of man Job was. And from the ensuing events, in which Satan is allowed to inflict great heartache and pain upon Job, we see his characteristics of integrity shine. Among the trials that Satan inflicted
upon Job, one was that the members of his family were killed – except one. The loss of a family member is of great tragedy, but to loose several in one incident would seem unbearable.
This being the case, have you ever wondered why Job’s wife was spared? Since Satan was taking the lives of Job’s children, why not take his wife’s life as well? That would certainly seem to be the final blow; however, I believe we can possibly deduce why Job’s wife was spared. Notice what the writer states in Job 2:9: “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ ” Now there is an
encouraging, motivating statement, isn’t it?! Of all people to speak that way, it was his very own wife. Can you imagine your own spouse saying something so discouraging? Well, Satan is not stupid – maybe he realized that Job’s wife would be better off alive than dead, to be a discouragement to Job. But as one might expect from such a man as Job, he was not phased: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks…” was his reply to her. Hmmm…a man of great bravery too!
Today, all of us should exercise extreme caution so that we do not become a “Job’s wife” to someone! How many times has the occasion arisen in which we’ve been a discouragement to someone rather than an encouragement? We can be a discouragement to all kinds of people if not careful: spouse, children, parents,co-workers, fellow Christians. By the things we speak, the attitudes we demonstrate, or our very behavior, we can communicate discouragement. It is ironic that oftentimes we are less tolerant and tactful toward those closest to us. If we truly love one another, it will be much more difficult to become a discouragement to one another. But instead of being optimistic and friendly, we’re too often rude, inconsiderate, and selfish. And this
becomes especially dangerous if such behavior/attitudes exist in the church => Gal. 5:14-15. God says if we can’t be kind and loving to our own brethren, how can we say we love Him? => I John 4:20-21. How strong could the church grow if words of encouragement were prevalent rather than words of discouragement? If you were in the position of Job’s wife, would you more likely say “Curse God and die”, or “Be strong in the Lord
and live”? If we are Christians, if we are to be like Christ, the answer is obvious. One of the missions given to us is described in Eph. 4:3, “…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We all have a part to play in doing so – are you fulfilling your part?