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“On the Job Training” Messages from Job for navigating life.
Sunday’s Message: “Understanding Missed” 
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Sunday Message 

First United Methodist Church, Meriden, CT – 31 May 2020

Job 3:1-2, 11, 24-26; 4:1, 5-6; 32:1-3, 34:10-11“On the Job Training –Understanding Missed” by Ric Hanse

Day Eight

Job’s friends love Job enough to spend seven days and nights sitting with him in a leprosy pit offering their silent support. After seven days of silence Job shares his sorrow. “Why did I not perish at birth?”
Immediately another tragedy strikes Job. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar misunderstand Job’s complaints to be self-righteous whining. As the misunderstanding grows a once beautiful friendship deteriorates.
The root of this misunderstanding is a faulty belief that bad things do not happen to good people. Job’s friends decide that somehow Job must deserve his troubles. Time and again with great sincerity they say, “Job repent of the wrong things you have done, and God will restore you.” Time and again Job replies, “I have already repented of my sins. I have not done anything to deserve these terrible times.”
After days of long conversation, a young man named Elihu interrupts the conversation. Elihu is angry with Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar because of their inability to convince Job of his sinfulness. And Elihu is angry with Job because Job is convinced that he did nothing to deserve his terrible trials.
“Job,” Elihu says, God delivers people from their times of suffering, and the Lord is wooing you from the jaws of distress.” Elihu is right on. But then Elihu’s misunderstanding of faith gets the better of him as he suggests that Job’s misfortune is the result of Job’s sins, and unhealthy love of money.
The more Job insists that he has done nothing to deserve these terrible times, the more his friends accuse Job of hiding some horrible sin that justifies his suffering. Job is misunderstood.
The Great Relationship Breaker
Misunderstanding more than anything strains and breaks relationships. Have you ever been misunderstood? Have we ever misunderstood someone else?
When Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday He is hugely popular. By Friday morning people are crying, “Crucify Him!” Why the change? People misunderstand Jesus. Most everyone thinks Jesus is going to deliver them from the state of Rome and all their troubles, not the state of sin and death. This misunderstanding leads to deadly hatred.
Guarding Against Misunderstanding
How do we guard against the great relationship destroyer called misunderstanding? First, listen to the person in silence and hear what they are saying. Second, work to appreciate their perspective, point of view experience. Finally, pray. Offer the misunderstanding to Jesus. We also make the prayer of Saint Francis a part of our daily lives.

Prayer Of Saint Francis 

Lord, make me and instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me bring love;

Where there is injury pardon;

Where there is doubt faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy;

And all for they mercy’s sake.

O divine Master, grant that I many not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love;

For it is giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Song of the Week: “America the Beautiful” U.S. Navy Band
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