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My Life Verse:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 NIV
My Life Notes:
Have you ever received conflicting advice?
Life will often bring about events that require me to make difficult decisions. I don’t always know what to do when facing a tough situation. Because I want to make the right choice, I may seek advice from several people, which, of course, can lead to my receiving various answers and solutions to my dilemma — leaving me unsure of which direction to go.
My Life Lesson:
When I think about someone in the Bible, who sought advice on which path to take, Rehoboam’s story comes to mind (1 Kings 12).
When the time came to make Rehoboam king, all of Israel came to Shechem. After bearing the heavy yoke enforced by his father Solomon, the people approached Rehoboam and told him if he lightened the harsh labor they had been forced to endure, they would serve him.
Rehoboam seems to be on the right track. Rather than immediately giving the people an answer, he tells the people to come back in three days and seeks counsel from the young men he grew up with and the elders who served his father. The advice he receives is conflicting. The elders advised him to listen to the people and serve them by lightening the heavy yoke placed on them by his father. His friends encourage him to do the opposite and advise him to set an even more burdensome yoke on the people than that of his father.
More importantly is what we do not see happening. Neither before or after receiving conflicting advice, does Rehoboam look to the Lord for wisdom on how to answer the people. He depends only on the counsel of these two people groups.
In the end, he chooses not to listen to the words of the elders who served with his father, Solomon. He rejects their wisdom and follows the advice of his younger, less experienced friends and places an even more burdensome yoke on the people.
Rehoboam’s choice to harshly answer the people resulted in an unfortunate turn of events. His foolish decision caused an uprising amongst the people, the split of the kingdom, the death of one of his officials, and Jeroboam to lead the house of Israel into idol worship.
James 1:5 reminds us that God will give us wisdom if we ask for it. I can’t help but imagine how differently things might have turned out if Rehoboam had sought the Lord’s wisdom on how to answer the people.
How do we ensure the advice we’re receiving is wise?
One step we can take to ensure the advice we are getting is right is to search the scriptures to see what God’s word has to say about the issue. If the advice lines up with scripture, then it’s safe to say its wise counsel. Any guidance that contradicts God’s word is not to be trusted.
Something else to keep in mind is that every situation is unique. Even if the information we receive lines up with God’s word, we should pray and ask God how and when to proceed before applying any advice we receive.
What if even after seeking God through prayer and his word we’re still unsure?
If we still don’t have peace about the advice we’ve received, then we need to continue seeking the Lord until we have clarity about what to do. Sometimes waiting is the answer. When the time is right, God will reveal exactly what we should do.
My Life Prayer:
Lord, we praise you for your infinite wisdom. Help us to remember that Your truth and wisdom trump any advice we may receive. May we always remember to seek you for wisdom when we have a difficult decision to make. In Jesus’ name, Amen