What You Need to Know about Bildad's Influences

A preview of September's email-only article.


Bernard Tuck

Wisdom is a great thing, but as Job's friend, Bildad, found out, relying on even the wisest of humans can get you into trouble.

Just who were these influences of Bildad, and why did he trust them wholeheartedly?

Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers, and this month we're talking about worldly wisdom and the limitations thereof. If you'd like instant, free access, fill out the form below. (If you are already a subscriber, check your inbox!)

Here's a snippet of this month's exclusive:

No matter how old or wise Bildad and his friends were, their lives were but a breath compared to the ancients who lived hundreds of years. And during those centuries, these people would have acquired great wisdom as a faculty of experience.

Nevertheless I'm inclined to believe Bildad did not misappropriate ancient wisdom, but rather that the sages of old failed him in this case. Who, no matter how long he lived, could account for a case like Job's? Bildad thought he knew the answer—that Job had sinned—but he was wrong in spite of consulting the wisest of men. And therein lies a critical lesson we should take to heart. The wisest of humans is a fool compared to God.

 
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Sometimes, People Don't Need More Theology

You can be right and still be wrong.


Nina Strehl


 

WHEN PEOPLE ARE HURTING, it can be difficult to know how to help them.

I read a good book a few years ago called When Helping Hurts that details instances in which charitable contributions actually do more harm than good. Don't misread me, generosity is a great thing. It encapsulates the very heart of God, who is a giver. But gifts that create dependency or are simply Band-Aids for more serious symptoms could actually hurt in the long run.

Money matters aside, how do we help people who are suffering? Many times I think we, not knowing what else to do, toss theology at people when what they really need is a hug or the mere presence of a friend.

Job's friends started off right when they sat with him in silence for seven days. After a week Job spoke up, lamenting his birth. He was in so much anguish he said, "Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? … Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?" (Job 3:11,16).

That's dark.

You've gotta be in a pretty grim frame of mind to utter these kinds of words.

How would you respond?

One Harmful Consequence of Sin

A preview of August's email-only article.


Philipp Pilz

It would be kind of obvious to say sin is harmful, wouldn't it?

Nevertheless, I think sin has a consequence we often don't recognize until it's too late.

Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers, and this month we're talking about this consequence, and how to reclaim your peace. If you'd like instant, free access, fill out the form below.

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YOU KNOW SIN IS BAD; nothing revelatory there.

God is the definition of good, and sin is the antithesis of God. Therefore sin is decidedly ungood. In fact, transgressions separate us from God which leads to death because God is also life.

Surely you know all of this.

But wrongdoing is even worse than we probably realize. Not only do we suffer the immediate consequences of a broken relationship with God, we also experience the compound effect of evil.

Proverbs 13:21 warns of this phenomenon.

 
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Stop Playing the Lottery

  Unearned wealth will fade away.


Alejandro Garay


 

WE LOVE GET-RICH-QUICK STORIES.

We can't get enough of the rags-to-riches trope. The Cinderellas, the little orphan Annies, Aladdins, Billionaire love stories, the Powerball winners. The long lost wealthy relative who just bequeathed you millions.

The fantastical prospect of a sudden exorbitant windfall entices even the best of us. Rags-to-riches tales are harmless as long as the consumer acknowledges one thing:

They are lies.

The Richest People Don't Live Like You'd Expect

 A preview of July's email-only article.


David Suarez

The richest people are those who own the nicest cars, homes, and jewelry, right?

No, not if you ask King Solomon.

Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers, and this month we're talking about the key to true riches according to Proverbs and Jesus. If you'd like instant, free access, fill out the form below.

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Despite owning mansions and flashy cars, a Nicholas Cage or a Burt Reynolds might be broker than you are.

Solomon observed this tendency in the book of Proverbs. He wrote, "One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth" (Prov. 13:7).

On a smaller scale, you probably have neighbors who buy fancier cars than they can afford to impress those in their social circle. You might have co-workers who carry expensive purses so they appear wealthy. But look at their balance sheets, and you'll see they are worth more dead than alive.

Materially speaking, of course.

Maybe you're guilty of pretending to be rich too. I know I've done so under social pressure to try to fit in or with the desire for respect I haven't earned.

But Solomon's proverb has a spiritual corollary.

 
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