ADVISE IS CHEAP OR NOT

Solomon said a companion of fools will be destroyed but a wise person has many advisers.  Some translations say the wise person has many counselors.  You can get advise just about anywhere you go and on just about any thing that can be imagined.  It is always interesting to me when someone gets on “Facebook” to ask for advise in some particular area.  I’ve not seen any topic that didn’t have answers, and most of the time some of it is well thought out and effective advise.

While people all around are ready to give advise, many aren’t ready to give it freely.  In truth many pay large amounts of money for advise from a counselor or a consultant in some area of business.  Consider all the psychic’s who advertise for one to call their 900 number to get their advise in all kinds of areas.  Most claim some kind of power beyond the normal person.  Yet it is necessary to give them some basic information about yourself to even get started.  I suspect that if you recorded the advise you would find that the same advise is given to hundreds of people in all kinds of different situations.  Even that may make more sense than going to the counselor who only repeats back the same things you say and tells you to follow your heart.

Truthfully we need to choose our advisers wisely.  A person might have great advise in some areas of life, but have extremely poor advise in others.  Why would a person seek medical advise from their stock broker or tax advise from a doctor?  If we are seeking advise it is wise to ask someone who has expertise in the area in which we need advise.  If I want advise about losing weight I’m not going to a fat doctor to get it.  It is amazing that the ones who have no experience in some areas of life are the ones most ready to tell everyone how it should be done.  Those who have never been married and have never had children are often the ones who most freely advise us on how to rear our children.  Find someone who has been married and divorced five or six times and they will be able to tell you exactly what it takes to have a good marriage.  I’m not interested in a lecture on the sanctify of life from an abortion doctor.  They have no credibility on the subject.

Here lies the folly of young people often following the advise of some friend who has no more training or experience in life than they do, but who can speak with authority indicating they know something.

In spiritual matters especially there needs to be care in who we will listen to about God and his word.  Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Both Peter and John warned of false teachers that were leading many astray.  Paul even warned, “Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”  In I John 4:1-3 we are told, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”  The particular false teaching that was going around at that time was that Jesus didn’t really have a human, fleshly body but just looked like he did.  We need to test what anyone says by what the Bible actually says on the matter and reject anyone as a false teacher who teaches something different from the Bible or emphasizes the things that God didn’t emphasize while deemphasizing the things he did emphasize.

A person can be a false teacher in two different ways.  The most obvious way is by teaching things that aren’t in harmony with what God says in His word.  Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his own time for telling the people they didn’t really have to honor their parents if they pledged what they had to the temple.  They could simply say to parents I’ve given everything to the temple and can’t help you in your care.  He told them their worship to God was useless since they were teaching the commandments of men.

But one can also be a false teacher by telling what is true while living a life completely out of harmony with what one teaches.  In many areas the Pharisees taught the truth.  But they didn’t live by what they taught.  Jesus told his disciples to do what they said do since they sat in Moses seat but not to do as they do, for they say and don’t do.

Advise, whether cheap or very expensive is only as good as the knowledge, experience and consistency of the person who gives it.  Look for ones who are trying hard to understand God’s will and live by it in all areas to seek advise on matters relating to God and His will.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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