“I can recall many times in my life when I gave “good advice” to someone, only to realize very quickly how little I had known of the situation. Many times that advice exploded in my face and damaged the lives of others. Those mistakes were regrettable. I have had to learn to offer advice only if I knew the whole story and understood the motives and values of those with whom I was talking.”
(David Thurman – ‘Jesus and Legalists’, Gospel Minutes, Vol. 66, Number 36, September 8, 2017, Page 1, Paragraph 1)
Some things that we can do to send discouragement packing doesn’t have anything to do with getting things – it has everything to do with getting rid of things:
- One, since misery loves company, we need to quit hanging around people who discourage us from doing or thinking right (think along the lines of Galatians 5:7 or 1 Corinthians 15:33 when it comes to the ability of others to influence us negatively) – if people can’t talk right or be anything but a downer towards you, then don’t talk to them.
- Two, as best as possible, forget the critics and remember the encouragers of life (there will always be more critics than encouragers).
- Three, don’t dwell on the past – if the past helps, good; if the past hinders let it go (read Philippians 3:13 or think about the 2nd stanza of the song “Higher Ground”).
- Four, get rid of the idea that says everything is supposed to be fine all the time and that problems are signs of weakness (that type of reality isn’t the reality of this dead and dying world – Job 14:1).
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
When asked about his rule for marital success on his 50th wedding anniversary, it is has been said that Henry Ford replied with,
“Just the same as in the automobile business: stick to one model.”
Sounds like some advice worth heeding for any culture that’s being wrecked with a sell or trade-in mentality towards marriage.
Everyone needs help now and again. No matter what age we are there is bound to arise events that we don’t know how to handle. Such was the case with King Rehoboam. His father Solomon had died and the kingdom of Israel was his to rule. The people came to him to ask to “now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee” (1 Kings 12:4). Being still a young man and new to the responsibilities of ruling a nation he asked the people to give him three days to consider the matter (vs. 5).
Rehoboam asked advice of the older men that had experience serving a king. He also asked advice of the men his own age that had no more experience than he had. For reasons unbeknownst to us he chooses to listen to the younger men. The result: “when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents” (vs. 16).
Proverbs 1:8 exhorts one to “…hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” If Rehoboam had done that, through the aged men that served his father, the kingdom would have remained whole and the division would have at least occurred at some later time. Proverbs 19:20 also teaches this idea: “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” Wise counsel only comes from those with experience in the matter at hand. For Rehoboam to take the advice of those who knew no more than him was foolishness. Titus 2:4 carries this idea in the New Testament by exhorting the older women to teach the younger women.
Never be too proud to seek the advice and counsel of others. Just make sure the person you are asking advice from knows what they are talking about.
In Christ, Steve Preston
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