One of the stages of grief is anger. When you are the friend of a grieving person, expect a moment when they may lash out. Then, don’t take it personally and retaliate.
Job is in the pit of despair and it seems his friends are beginning to kick him as he’s down. Certainly, it was never their original intention to get judgmental or accusatory, but that’s where it’s ended up.
There’s a popular saying that “hurting people hurt people.” I think that’s true, but this shouldn’t dissuade us from comforting our friends. Just be prepared for things to get ugly, and try to be gracious.
I know I can be quite the lunatic under a certain amount of pressure. I also have been called out for taking my stress out on loved ones.
So how would I like to be handled when my frustration lands on someone I didn’t want it to? I’d like them to know I don’t mean it. I’d like them to know I’m sorry and I love them and probably need them. With this in mind, I can prepare myself to absorb a little messiness when comforting a grieving friend.
Sure, we should all do our best not to lash out, but in the messiness of life, we should be more prepared to be gracious than to be perfect.