Getting Good Advice; July 9, 2017

1 Kings 12:8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.

This is a classic example of shopping for advisers until you find one who tells you what you want to hear. From our perspective the results were entirely predictable, but we see the same sort of thing all the time, and are prone to do it ourselves. There are other examples scattered throughout the Bible, and not a one of them ends well. Paul refers to the fundamental problem by calling it “itching ears.” (2 Timothy 4:3) Sadly, we see it specifically in the Church today, with people seeking out preachers who won’t confront their sins but rather stroke their flesh. That is tragic indeed. We forget that those God loves, He corrects. (Hebrews 12:5-6, quoting Proverbs 3:11-12) Refusing good advice and always seeking the easy way out is a guaranteed recipe for failure, as Rehoboam demonstrated.

I have no high horse from which to proclaim this, because I’ve fallen into this trap myself. My personal pattern has been not to reject good advice so much as not to seek advice in the first place. That is pride, pure and simple. I am not to take human advice over what God says to me, but I must remember that God often speaks through human instruments. I am to weigh advice under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but not reject advice because it doesn’t agree with my preconceptions. Yesterday, following God’s provision and guidance, I signed a contract for purchasing a plot of land next to the church for us to build an elder-care facility. We are now faced with one decision after another, and we don’t have the background, knowledge or wisdom to make all the right choices. I’ve got to know from whom to seek advice, and then listen in all humility. That said, God is still in control, and my first priority must be to listen to Him. I also need to be sure the members are in the loop, understanding what is going on and being a part of it, so that we may have full ownership. At the same time, this facility must not become “the tail that wags the dog.” We are to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and treat this facility as no more than a tool to that end.

Father, yesterday it started to hit me how many decisions and choices will have to be made. It’s rather intimidating! Thank You that You do care and You do guide. Help me not fear any of this, but also not be presumptive or know-it-all. I do ask for good counselors, not just about the building but especially about operations and finances. I don’t know how much to charge residents, how many employees we need, or how much to pay them. I know that if I am proud, I will fail and do considerable damage to people’s image of the Church and of You. May I be fully obedient to Your Spirit, so that all of Your purposes, not just for this project but for this church and for me personally, may be fulfilled in Your way for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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