Posted by: Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC | April 6, 2011

What to do when friends do you wrong: Advice from Job

Several years ago, I was reading through the Bible for the twelfth or thirteenth time.   During that frame in the movie of my life, a friend betrayed me , and I called out to God for wisdom and peace several times a day. Even so, my heart still bled.  I kept reading, admiring Job’s stellar character.

I was completely awestruck by the fact that after he lost his family and all of his worldly possessions, he fell to the ground and worshiped God!

One day, toward the end of reading Job, I noticed how badly his friends treated him.  They blamed him on his suffering, when in fact Satan had asked the Lord if he could test Job.  Satan told the Lord that if his blessings were stripped away,  Job  would curse God to his face.  So God let Satan test Job.

God eventually told Job to pray for the friends who had betrayed him.  How difficult it must have been for Job to do so, knowing they had blamed him for his suffering!

Nevertheless, Job obeyed and prayed for the three friends who had violated him. Obedience to the core.

Soon after, Job was blessed with twice as much as he originally had.

Although I had never noticed this, and decided to pray for my own friend who had betrayed me.  I didn’t pray that God would show her the wrong she committed against me, but I prayed for her true needs.

The next day I went on a walk with another friend,Claudia.  Suddenly she turned and said, “Hey, I noticed the other day that Job prayed for his friends that did him wrong, and later God blessed him.”  I stopped on the sidewalk, stunned. 

“I’m not saying if we pray for people who did us wrong, God will bless us materially.  I’m just saying we are called to pray for those who persecute us,” Claudia explained.  I told her I completely agreed with her.

I continued to pray for the friend who betrayed me, and eventually all my resentment toward her melted away.  My heart softened to the pain in her life, and I gradually grasped her soul-wrenching story. We lived our separate movies peacefully, but my heart filled to the brim with joy. The tears in her story rained on my life voyage.

I thanked God for the valuable lesson he taught me through the book of Job, and make it a practice to pray for people who harm me.

man at sunset nice

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  1. Good thoughts and good Bible principle. Thanks for sharing.

  2. […] Job’s “friends” told him that he had deserved it. Yet God had said, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8) See the post, When friends do you wrong.… […]

  3. Great, intellegent, and sesnitive writing…Loved the lessions of Job and understand about beauty in brokeness.

    • Thank you, Cindy. It’s so hard to remember in the midst of crisis, but it helps me to remember that God has my back – even when it doesn’t feel like it.

  4. My husband and I have gone through this several painful times with people in ministries/leadership roles that we trusted. I don’t remember who sang the song, but we were always ministered to by a song about forgiving 70 times 7. We also learned that sometimes people won’t repent, but that’s not our problem, that’s the Lord’s. He’ll deal with those people in a manner more tender, wise, and loving than we ever could, anyway.

    • Very true, Mindy. We can only focus on keeping our side of the street clean, so to speak. The sting burns deeper in ministry situations, that’s for sure. I’m sorry you have experienced this several times.

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