Gathering Together

How to Lose Friends and Discourage People


November 26th, 2011

Job 13:15-16 ~ Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

Perhaps you have or have not read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie dubbed “The grandfather of all people skills book.” Job’s friends really should have read it. No matter how many times I read their words of disdain I find myself saying, “Oh you so did not say that! Are you serious? Get away from him!” But it is to no effect, they say it again. Funny thing about the Bible, it never changes. Well some versions do, but that’s for another day…

Today, I felt the need to remind myself during the Holiday Season, the Holy days Season, that it should be the season of encouragement. This thought comes the day after black Friday. Oh my stars! I think Job’s friends were out there in throngs. The really sad part is the bargains weren’t there to back up the frenzy. What were you people thinking? There were a few bargains, but not nearly enough to get in a fight in the sheet isle. The sheets? Is that really the hot ticket item? Oh I know.. I’m already at 229 words, where is the message?

The message is this. Christianity is 365 days a year for certain. But there is no greater time than this time to share the message of hope, the message that love isn’t down an isle, it’s in a smile… oh that’s clever! Well, I had to encourage myself a little, it’s the season! But it’s true. Christmas is the number one time of the year that people get depressed and discouraged because their lives don’t match the commercial. True encouragers of the faith are needed. Gloria and I met one such encourager yesterday at Tractor supply. He was in the store encouraging an unwilling clerk to know Jesus. Gloria, who is so bold and I am proud to call her my friend, asks him to repeat it. Ha! Now the clerk is really not happy. The little fella (small in stature big in heart) follows us out to the car, where the three of us have prayer and we leave the parking lot with windows rolled down and the sound of him rejoicing with arms lifted high in praise. Oh what an encourager! He must have read the book.

Job’s response to his friends 13:15-16 says simply, no matter what we go through, salvation and the peace it affords comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. The holiday is filled with a lot of hypocrites. But the Holy Day is celebrated with true friends. Job’s self righteous friends knew nothing of why Job was in the state he was. They assumed it had something to do with sin. If you see someone in a downward straight this season, don’t assume they are there because of unrighteous living, let them see Jesus!

Twas the end of black Friday and down every isle

were red tags and red faces and seldom a smile.

The bargains were a bust and the wallet was too

The people were tired and the kids boo hooed.

The shopping was done, and the car was packed high

Let the celebration begin! And don’t forget why.

Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Shari Johnson