Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.
If you are like me, you are happy to give advice and much less happy to receive it. I’ve always been that way, and I’m not getting any better. I’m also much better at saying what’s wrong with everything than determining what’s wrong with me. Fortunately, that one is improving as I age! But the advice thing is an issue.
King Solomon, credited with the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, was purported to be the wisest man in the world. He gave a lot of advice. He is the one who said, “listen to advice and accept discipline, and in the end, you will be counted among the wise." He was great at giving advice but, like the rest of us, not so great at taking it either. Instead of following the advice of others and remaining faithful to monotheistic Judaism, he practiced Judaism alongside other religions. The decision ultimately devastated his kingdom politically and culturally.
Author and pastor Andy Stanley say, “How do you know when you need advice? When you don’t want it.”
We are in a season of discernment at St. Paul’s. We are receiving advice on a new outreach ministry for our addicted neighbors (see Harm Reduction below). We are discerning God’s call to us through the Diocesan program Requiem and Renaissance. Soon we’ll be interviewing a new batch of candidates for our communications position. That hire will lead us further in our La Misa launch. In all of this, we need advice!
We need to share our wisdom and listen to outside voices who will help us. We may not always want this advice, but we need it.
I pray that you will take Andy’s words to heart when someone says to you, “Take my advice….” Before we close down our receptivity, let’s open ourselves to what God might have to tell us. Then we’ll be counted among the wise.
-- Pastor Rebecca