With technology continually changing, social media booming, and information overload, most of us are interacting less and less with those around us. We meet people. We become social media friends. And then we never talk again. I’m sure we can all relate to getting a message from someone we don’t remember or even know who they are.
The truth is that we’re friends with people we have never met in real life. We are having conversations with and about people that are just a profile picture or a web page. More and more our impressions and opinions of each other can be summed up in just a few words or even a picture.
Job’s wife was a woman who’s character was sketched out in just ten little words in the Bible. You remember Job, right? He was the man God allowed to be directly attacked by Satan. The man who lost his children, his livelihood, his land, everything. The man who did not let his trials get the better of Him.
But we’re not talking about Job today. We’re talking about his wife. She isn’t given a name. And we aren’t told anything about her. We just get this in Job 2:9:
Then his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
In a time of great loss and affliction, Job’s wife encourages him to turn from God and end his own life. I know what you may be thinking. Its not fair to do a character sketch of Job’s wife with just ten words. Surely, this was just a moment of weakness, a moment where she lacked faith. But it’s a moment God chose to record in His Word.
This got me thinking. What would my ten words be? What ten words that I have spoken or thought would God use to define my life?
Its a scary, scary thought – when I think about the words I’ve carelessly uttered or worse yet, purposefully spoken. The words of hate I’ve yelled at God. The moments I’ve lacked faith and cried. The times I’ve questioned if God was good. I would want none of these to be the moments that define me.
I’d rather have something like these ten words, “Jenny was perfect and did not sin.” Ok, that’s only seven, but close enough. The truth is we are all trying to make up our ten words in this life. We fill our ten words with labels, titles, certifications, degrees, accomplishments, trophies and so much more. We’re constantly trying to define ourselves through our jobs, our spouse, our children, our victories in life. But it’s really the in-between moments that count. It’s what you yell in your car when someone cuts you off. It’s what you mumble under your breath when your boss walks away. It’s what you say to tear your husband down during an argument.
Every day we have the chance to re-write our ten words. Every day we have the chance to be “a faithful worker”, “a loving wife”, “a generous neighbor”, “a serving mother”. And every day we will screw it up. Try as we might to be blameless like Job, most of us will probably end up more like his wife.
Don’t get me wrong, I always thought I would be like Job. I thought should I ever face trials like Job did, I would come out smelling like a rose and looking like a Saint. But as it turned out, when I went through my own time of affliction and depression, I was just like Job’s wife. In a time when God allowed for me to be attacked, when He used circumstances to stretch my faith, I did not remain faithful. But God did.
Those are the only two words you’ll ever need – But God!
Your ten words are going to change daily. Sometimes they’ll show a measure of faith. Sometimes they’ll show your heart of sin. You’ll try to define yourself by worldly measures and with worldly things. At the end of the day, though, God is faithful. So when your ten words start out something like this, “Jenny is a selfish brat…” You can remember that they end with “…but God is faithful to forgive her and tomorrow is a new day.”
4 But God, being rich in mercy,because of the great love with which he loved us,5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.