Sunday, May 17, 2015

Job answered his critics and showed us the differences between losers and winners Job 6-7

From Job's answers to his critics, we can learn about how to answer our accusers, and also to discover the ways of the losers and winners. The losers find excuses for his failures and suffering and blame everything else. He changes not and remains in his suffering. The winners examine the causes, rejects the false accusations, find lessons and purpose for his failures, and make changes. We see how Job changed his position from blaming to asking a deeper question of about the meaning of life.  While Job has not found his answer about a life of suffering, it prepared him well to gain understanding later from God Himself.
Job in Job Chapters 6 and 7 gave his answers to his critics described in Chapter 4 and 5. Below is a mind-map that summarized his main points of his rebuttals.

Step 1 Identity the Causes
We can learned much from him to identify the various factors that are likely to be the causes of our failures or sufferings.
Step 2 The Ways of Losers - Blaming 
The ways you handle the identified causes show you whether you are a loser or a winner. The way of the loser is 'blaming'.  Job started that way. He blamed his behavior of 'complaining' to God and to his friends on nine factors from J1 to J9, the terrible pains of suffering (quite an exaggeration too), on God, a common practice, if only, born weak, horrible friends, false accusations, meaningless life of pains only to die, and of all people why me? The losers can find faults in everything else except himself. If the faults lie with others and not with him, then there is nothing with him that need to be changed. The losers change not his ways and therefore remain in his sufferings or failures.

Step 3 The Better Ways of the Winners - Learning
The winners take a different mindset towards the causes of sufferings or failures. He classifies and differentiate the causes. Firstly, are the causes true? If the accusations are false and without evidences, then the winners ignore them. Secondly, are they within control or not. For factors beyond the winners control, he must learn to accept them and adapt to them. Making the best out the uncontrollable situations. For factors within their control, they accept the responsibility to learn and change. A key question that the winners ask is "What is the purpose of this sufferings or failures?" or "What can I learn from it?"  Winners learned the lessons, make the change and breakout of the sufferings or failures.

By the way, ancient Chinese considered the eight pains of life as shown in the mindmap below:

The Awakening of Job - What then is the meaning of Life and of Suffering?
Job started like any normal human being, blaming everything including God. He considered God had been unfair to him. He sin not and yet suffered much with sickness, loss of children and wealth. He forgot the many good days of the past. But in the process, he asked a very important question about life. Is life just about suffering and then die without any hope or good ending? Life shouldn't be just full of pains. Life must be of some good else Job should not complain about life being short. If pains is life is all about, the shortness if a good relief as Job has desired. In the gut of Job, Job feels something is not right. Life should not and could not be just suffering. He shifted focus for a short while from his sufferings to the goodness of God. He asked, even if he did sin, could not God has forgiven him? (His expected answer was surely Yes.) How much more should not God treat him well when he did not even sin? What is the purpose of suffering under a good and merciful God? Could suffering has other purposed besides being just a punishment from God for our sin?

Job did not find the answer here. He found it later in when he met God personally.

What about you?
What have you learned from this study of Job chapters 6 and 7?
Do you know the ways of winners?
What are other purposes of sufferings?

Lim Liat (c) 18 May 2015