Job 27:1-12 (NIV) 1 And Job continued his discourse: 2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, 3 as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. 5 I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. 7 “May my enemies be like the wicked, my adversaries like the unjust! 8 For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life? 9 Does God listen to his cry when distress comes upon him? 10 Will he find delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times? 11 “I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 You have all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk?
On verses 1-12: After his friends have repeatedly tried to convince Job that he has sinned and needs to repent, here in these verses Job is more adamant than ever about his innocence. As he says in verses 5-6, “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” Later on, when God appears to Job and speaks to him directly, Job will repent. But until God appears to him personally, Job will not budge no matter how much his friends try to accuse him.
What can we learn from this? Instead of continually accusing people, guilt tripping them or pointing the finger, leave it to the Holy Spirit to do the work of convicting others of their sin. Remember it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, not yours. As Jesus says in John 16:8, “When he [that is the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).
Does that mean you should always remain silent when you believe someone has sinned? No, if you are in the right position to do so, speak the truth in love and point out where a person in your care has gone astray. But if that person does not respond the way you want, do not make it your life mission to continually remind them of all the ways you think they have failed. Speak the truth in love and move on, leaving it up to the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
Don’t get me wrong. If you see someone commit a crime, report it. If you see abuse or injustice taking place, speak up. But if you believe a friend of yours is straying from God and their straying is not affecting anyone else in a major way except them, then after lovingly and wisely expressing your concern to them, respect that person’s freedom to make their own choices. If there is any convicting work to be done, leave it to the Holy Spirit to do it.
Heavenly Father, whenever I see what I think may be sin in another person’s life, may I be wise in how I speak with that person about it. May I know when it is my place and when it is not my place to say something. If it is my place to say something, may I be wise in when and how I say it. May I not make it my life mission to keep accusing others of sin, but rather leave it to You Holy Spirit to do whatever convicting You think is necessary in Your time. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!