I have a confession to make. I love a good fight. Some people are confrontational by nature. While I don’t always go looking for a fight, I don’t usually back down if challenged with one. As a preacher and teacher, a war of words comes most natural to me. If you want to argue, you better bring your “A-game” because I can come up with a whole list of reasons of why I’m right and you’re wrong. However, if uncontrolled, I can really destroy people and any relationship I have with them just through my words.
In Job 32:5, we find Elihu, a man I can oftentimes relate with. He was a young man who thought he had the world figured out. He was right, and everyone else was wrong. He tried to hold his tongue when his elders were not speaking, but felt “led” to tell his friend Job everything that he was doing wrong. His passion for truth, led to his “wrath being kindled”. In today’s terms, it means HE FLIPPED OUT, SHOT OFF AT THE MOUTH, MADE A REAL BUTT OF HIMSELF…you get the picture.
So let me give you an insight into a guy like Elihu. Sometimes this is me. But maybe you can see yourself in here too:
- Insecurity–Sometimes we can try so hard to show strength and intellegence that we end up revealing our weakness in the process. Those who always have the need for people to know they’re right tend to have deep rooted insecurities. Those who are comfortable with simply knowing they are right without having to prove it to everyone else are some of the most secure people you will ever meet.
- Intemperance–One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. Some try to pass off their inability to control their tongue as “being led by the Spirit” or by saying that they were “just looking out for you”. The fact is that the Holy Spirit never forces you into anything. When He has you speak, it’s with wisdom, not just zeal. He cares more about the person you’re talking to than you ever could. So when He does move you to speak to him/her, it will be with genuine love and concern. Therefore even the way you present your wisdom to this person matters.
- Impatience–Especially when dealing with Christian believers, we must believe that God is speaking to them. Some things can be worked out in due time. Too often we are to free to run up to a person pointing our finger at all they are doing wrong. Instead of berating them, what would happen if you prayed more for them? Instead of trying to be the one to change their behavior, how much more effective would it be if you allowed their heavenly Father to speak directly to them? Be patient and let God be God.