Jump Start # 2937
Job 40:2 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.”
Our verse today is spoken by God. He directs these words towards Job. Job had gotten fussy with God about how things were turning out in his life. Suffering was the name of the street address that Job seemed to live on. Financially, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually, Job was taking hits. The friends that showed up to help him only hurt him. Their discussions quickly turned ugly, nasty and name calling. For thirty seven chapters, the longest dialogue of conversations without any divine input, Job and his friends go round and round, like two boxers in a title fight. Finally, God speaks. He speaks only to Job. He doesn’t toss Job softballs. What is at stake is the position, authority and right of God. God had to let Job know that He was God. God was not like one of his friends. One cannot talk to God like we talk to each other.
Rather than telling Job why suffering happens, the Lord asks Job a series of questions about nature and animals. Over and over the Lord asks, “Can you do this,” or, “Where you there when this happened,” or, “Is it by your command that these things take place.” There is no need to reply. Job knew. We know. We weren’t there. We could not, even if we tried. We don’t understand how nature operates. So many questions, sixty at least. And, these were not the really big questions such as when do you decide that a person’s life should end? Why do you bless the wicked and unrighteous? How much grace should be extended? When is it time to send Jesus?
Our verse today is like the half-time among all those questions. More questions will follow. But here, God was saying “Why are you putting Me on trial?” The faultfinder is one who finds fault. He is one who accuses, blames and points the finger at the guilty. God was contending that Job was doing that. The truth is, many do that. They find fault, not so much with God but with everyone else. They make it their life’s work to be negative and to find what is wrong.
· Some do this with the Sunday worship. If something isn’t just right, the faultfinder will see it and he’ll let others know all about it. The services didn’t start on time. He saw that. The song leader led the same song as we sang last week. The man who led us in the prayer didn’t say something right. The preacher really bombed. If there is a typo in the bulletin the faultfinder is on it. Forget what the rest of the article said, he’ll zero in on the mistake he found.
· Others focus their attention on the family. It seems every family has at least one faultfinder. At meal time, the faultfinder is looking and looking for something not right. The potatoes were too salty. The meat was not warm enough. Too much ice in the cups. The faultfinding parent is always on the kids. They are never doing things right. They sleep too late in the mornings and their rooms are never picked up to the satisfaction of the faultfinder. Watching too much TV. Not hanging their clothes up right. This and that and that and this and the child feels like a complete failure. Every day it’s something else that the faultfinder has found. Grades aren’t high enough. Homework isn’t done quick enough. Poor child. What the kid needs is some praise and compliments. But that won’t happen when faultfinders are around. They don’t know how to compliment. They can’t ever see anything right. Everything is wrong and they will tell you all about that.
· Sometimes the faultfinder is one of our friends. You go out to eat with a faultfinder and it’s a disaster. Had to wait too long, the prices are too high, the food is sent back because it’s not right and when it comes to the tip, it is embarrassing what the faultfinder gives. You go to a ballgame and the faultfinder is in rare form. It’s that way at a movie. Even when you have the faultfinder in your home, your deco is not right, you dog is too loud, the temp isn’t right, complain, complain, complain. This isn’t right. Your aren’t right. Nothing is right. That’s the faultfinder.
Now some thoughts:
First, if you find yourself being a faultfinder, STOP IT. Rather than being helpful, you are making matters worse. There are skirmishes, battles and the war. The war spiritually must be won. Some little things will be overlooked because of the big picture and what truly is important. Realize that people feel uncomfortable around a faultfinder. It’s tense. It’s hard to have a great relationship with a faultfinder. Not everyone is going to do things the way you do. Even your grown children may do things differently. As long as it’s not going to keep them out of Heaven, keep your thoughts and your words to yourself. Don’t give advice unless it’s asked for.
Second, if the faultfinder would look in the mirror as much as he has his radar gun pointed at others, he’d likely be more quiet. The faultfinder has his own faults. But he doesn’t see them because he is zeroed in on your faults. Whatever you are doing wrong is so much more worse than what he is doing.
Third, try to be part of the solution rather than the warning siren of what’s wrong. In my area, especially in the spring, there are tornado sirens. The blast a loud noise and those who hear it need to take cover. The siren doesn’t open doors for you. It doesn’t tell you how to be safe. It’s just telling you that trouble is nearby. That’s all the faultfinder will do. The services were terrible, he will declare. But not for a moment will he consider making things better. That’s not his job, he proclaims. But being helpful, being part of the solution, being a team member is one of the best ways to end that judgmental, faultfinding spirit in us. “Here am I, send me,” is what the prophet pronounced.
Fourth, encouragement builds, finding fault tears down. Encouragement brings smiles. Finding fault makes frowns. Be helpful or hurtful. Be a blessing or be a curse. That’s the choices before us. After a while, people steer clear of the faultfinder and they don’t want to talk to the faultfinder. If they do, the faultfinder will be correcting them about something. So the faultfinder is often an unwelcome guest, like a mosquito buzzing around the house. He’s there but no one wants him there. And, that’s the way it is with a faultfinder. He’s there, but no one wants him there.
Rather than finding fault, let’s try to find grace. Let’s try to be a help and a blessing. Let’s change our ways and get rid of the faultfinding in our hearts.