Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

My 30th birthday is fast approaching. Yes, yes… I’ve heard it all… “You’re so young!” “You’re just a baby!” “Wait, what!? You’re not 30 yet?” I have been the subject of these phrases a lot, lately. At first I laughed, then I felt a bit fired up and defensive, but now I’m feeling encouraged!

Being perceived as “young” has a few negative connotations. Some have a hard time taking stock in what you say. Some categorize you into your “generation name” (I will spare my opinions on that). Some, just simply do not show much respect toward those younger.

My attitude about my age was encouraged when I read through the entire book of Job. Please do this if you haven’t in a while or ever. I also encourage you to switch between NIV and MSG versions, as both can help you understand the intense conversations between Job and his friends.

Encouraged reading Job? Job is depressing and what in the world does that have anything to do with age?

The back and forth between the three friends had me all sorts of confused! Rightfully so. These men were “old” and “wise”, right? Should I side with the friends? Should I side with Job? I had lost all sense of “hope”, then this fiery young fella, Elihu, rises up and lays in to them all! Who the heck is Elihu? He was not the subject of any Sunday school lessons. What makes him worthy of 6 chapters in the book of Job?

“You have my attention Elihu!”

Heard: Show Respect

Elihu is the youngest of the men gathered, and he acknowledges that fact first. He also makes it known that because of his youth, he has held his tongue while the old guys banter.

I’m a young man, and you are all old and experienced. That’s why I kept quiet and held back from joining the discussion.

Job 32:6, MSG

I hung on your words while you spoke, listened carefully to your arguments. While you searched for the right words, I was all ears.

Job 32:11, MSG

This is one of the best character traits we see in Elihu. He is the embodiment of respecting your elders. He showed respect, thus, his words were received. Elihu waited his turn; not interrupting those he did not side with. He did not belittle their opinions by making fun or laughing at them. He waited patiently, really listening to their words.

Heard: Confidence Through Truth

I kept thinking, ‘Experience will tell. The longer you live, the wiser you become. But I see I was wrong—it’s God’s Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.

Job 32:7-8, MSG

Elihu was not afraid to speak his feelings to his elders because he knew his words were true; truth, Spirit prompted from the innermost of his heart. The same should be true, when we write or speak against anyone’s personal opinions and feelings. We must make sure we do it from a position of knowledge. Whether it’s in God’s word, or extensive research on the matter. Above all, our argument should not be from a place of anger or animosity.

Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

Heard: Be Reasonable

Elihu was extremely passionate about what he was saying. However, in the midst of the intensity, he was also reasonable.

My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know. The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Answer me then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me. I am the same as you in God’s sight;

Job 33:3-6, NIV

He was reasonable enough to acknowledge that he was fired up, but that he should not be held in a higher regard than any other. Particularly, he recognized that his words were not his own, but from the Spirit of God.


Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

Heard: All-Inclusive

Hear my words, you wise men; listen to me, you men of learning. For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.

Job 34:2-4, NIV

I believe this is one of the most important characteristics to learn from Elihu. Elihu included everyone listening, in his argument. He truly invited all of the men to enter in to his speech. To learn, together, the power of God. Elihu spoke from the ground with the others, not from a lofty, high above pedestal. In other words, he spoke from a posture of equality, not from a know-it-all angle.

Heard: What God Speaks

When God finally spoke, he scolds Job, all three of his friends, but makes no mention of Elihu. I believe Elihu ushered in the Spirit of God while he was speaking. Although he was the youngest of the men, he was the most impactful. He spoke with passionate truth, humility, and love for God.

Elihu has me encouraged for the future. Yes, I may be the youngest of most of those I hang around, but I believe, if I can embody the characteristics of Elihu, I can make a lasting impact. How humbled I would be, if the Lord chose me to usher in his Spirit so those with closed hearts would hear and know His truth!

What about you? Have you ever heard of Elihu? Do you find these characteristics helpful when approaching an intense subject with differing opinions?

If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

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Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

About the author
I'm a high functioning introvert, coming to terms with the fact that life is better together. Healing my idea of friendship and relationship has given me the confidence to step out of comfort and into true community. Isolation used to be my identity, but helping others find safety in coming together is what motivates me.

I believe healing and redemption are obtainable for every single person and true peace is found when we accept our freedom in Christ. Creating, listening, and finding common ground are my God-given strengths. I pray I can use these to prove there is light in darkness, hope in despair, and value in imperfection.

Comments (24)

  1. Katie,

    These characteristics are pretty much the only backboard I have during difficult or irrationally emotive conversations. Job is a powerful book and I’ve read it before, but I did not think of Elihu in particular. Great job outlining his role and the importance of his insights and wisdom.


    1. Thank you, Melanie! Absolutely! These characteristics have definitely helped me during intense conversation and debate! Elihu has taught me very important lessons!

  2. I’ve never read the whole book of Job, but now I want to dig in. 🙂 I love your insights here. How you showed a character that we may not have noticed and shined a light on how he allowed God to use him in an uncomfortable situation. One where he felt like he should only listen at first. Thank you for this!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! Yes! I highly recommend reading the whole book! It does get a bit intense and, at times, heavy; but worth it! I loved learning about Elihu and what he had to offer to further my spiritual growth! I love learning about the unsung heroes! <3

  3. It’s been a year since I read Job. I remember Elihu but do not remember seeing this. I love Job 32:7-8! What a great verse. It is God who makes us wise and He will give his wisdom freely if we ask for it.

    1. Amen, Kristi! It was an extremely humbling verse for me! Not by my own words I write, but by the wisdom of God who breathed into the Holy Spirit to guide me!

  4. I have read Job several times and missed Elihu! Wow. Now I’m looking at a new journey through the book and will use both translations as you suggest. You just taught a much older than you woman (almost 60!) a beautiful lesson. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Joy! I am so humbled that you would be inspired to take Job on with a new outlook! Also, age is relative! 🙂 I am so glad to know that I will still be learning lessons in my “wise” years! <3

  5. Thanks for sharing this encouraging article. I have only read job all the way through once and, I have never heard/read the insights you have offered here. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you, Juanita! I hope I have inspired you to read through Job again with a new view! I am so happy you felt encouragement in the new lesson I learned! <3

    1. Thank you, Bailey! I agree! Proper discussion and debate need to be addressed more often in the Church. It’s our honor, as Christians, that we embody these characteristics in a world of opposing opinions and feelings. God’s truth should shine in all we speak/write!

  6. Beautifully written! I too have read Job many times but Elihu never stood out to me. Thanks for bringing new insight with such a great perspective.

  7. My biggest takeaway from this post will be that blessed last point : What God speaks. It is so important to embody these virtues when we speak with others and not incur God’s wrath.
    I absolutely love how you mentioned Elihu , the 4th friend of Job who knew how to talk to Job.

    1. Thanks Diana! You’re right! God’s voice is the most important take away from the book of Job!

  8. I’m studying the book of Job right now, and I’ve also noticed that Elihu was never rebuked by God at the end either. He was speaking the right thing and showed honor. It seemed like the false allegations of the other friends failed to treat Job with honor.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to gather the same “ah ha” moments as I did! Thank you for sharing your insight, Susan!

  9. You piqued my interest to go and read Job again! With age doesn’t always come wisdom or common sense. The most wise people are the ones who are walking with God!

  10. I love when you wrote ” It’s God’s Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible. I could not agree more! It does not matter how young or old, God indeed provides the knowledge and wisdom to each person. I am only 34 years old and I have been told I am a wise woman of God. You do not have to wait until you are 90 years old to become wise, pray for it now!!!

    1. Yes, Keisha! It’s such an honor to be called wise in God! It’s humbling and something I strive towards every single day! <3

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