“Relational angst accompanies our actions when we don’t apply humility and a teachable spirit.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 25, 2021
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 13:10
I am learning when contemplating a decision to ask myself, “What advice would I give to a friend asking me the same question?” Normally, if I’m honest—I need to heed the words I would give to another about a similar situation. I am not an exception. I have not grown beyond being a person who needs ongoing input into my life so my character can continue to align closer to Christ’s life in me. When I fail to follow my own advice, I find my ugly pride being persuasive. Relational angst accompanies my actions when I don’t apply humility and a teachable spirit.
Solomon understood what I am describing. In his early days as a leader he was consistent in living out what he taught and led others to do. But when he waded into the waters of believing he was above the law, or had somehow matured beyond the need of being called out by others—he lost credibility. Eventually the consequences of inconsistent living brought about civil chaos and relational strife. The wisest man became a fool when he failed to follow his own advice.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice” (Proverbs 27:9).
Someone may ask your advice related to the conflict she is experiencing from marital strife. The sacred relationship has become fractured over angry confrontations and hurtful words. Perhaps you would suggest this emotionally paralyzed wife and husband meet with another more mature couple who has had their share of bumps and bruises, who could bring perspective and humility for forgiveness and relational repair. In addition, you might share the contact information of a licensed counselor who follows Christian values and principals in her practice. Then, six months later you encounter a similar situation with your own spouse. Would it be wise to follow what you prescribed months earlier? Would it be foolish to succumb to pride and ignore your own advice?
Telling another—but not doing the same myself— is destructive. Destructive to my relationships since I will suffer when others see my inconsistencies thus diluting my creditability—and feeding my foolish behavior, while eroding my integrity—that one day will blow up in humiliation. Instead, when facing an important decision, what if I take the time to ponder…Boyd, in a similar situation with someone else, if asked your opinion, how would you advise him? My answer may not be the best option, but it will probably put me on a productive path. Wisdom takes its own advice!
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise” (Proverbs 19:20).
Heavenly Father, give me wisdom into your ways to share with others and to apply to my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What advice do I need to follow that I offer others when asked my opinion?
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