Job 1:1, 2:1-10
This passage concludes with “Job did not sin with his lips”. How many ways have you avoided sinning? and how many ways have you sinned? Let us count the ways.
There is an old saying that “sticks and stones may break bones, but names will never hurt”. Here it is loathsome sores may afflict, but lips will never sin.
To go beyond the physical, what about questions? Can we say that “questions may discourage, but responses can remain gentle”?
More to the point, what is a difficulty that you are facing this day? Have you considered a different response than your usual knee-jerk one? This passage can come alive if we take a look at a disconnect available between stimuli and response. This is deliberately phrased in the plural for what it is we face, as almost anyone can deal with one cause and one effect. It is when the stimuli of life gang up on us and reinforce one another. Can’t you just hear the Tester or Confuser orchestrate this:
Stimulus 1, enter stage right.And our perfect storm of excuses for having returned a tit for a tat swirls on and on. It is good to pull out for generations.
Stimulus 2, enter stage left.
Stimulus 3, enter by wire from above.
Stimulus 4, enter on elevator from below.
Stimulus 5, enter from upstage.
Stimulus 6, enter through the 4th wall.
Stimulus 7, enter from within a sense of privilege.
When a next question comes, what will be your level of defensiveness? And another, how might you detach the stimuli from your response?