Monday, July 21, 2014

Asking People That Agree With Me

“The older counselors replied, ‘If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.’  But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.  ……  Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors….”  1Kings 12:7,8,13  NLT

Before we delve into this I want to make it clear that the point of this passage is not old vs. young.  In general, the older the wiser, but this doesn’t mean that young men or women don’t give good advice.  In this story that is the case, but that is not necessarily true of all cases. 

David made his fair share of bad decisions and then some.  When a person that has borderline personality disorder goes untreated or treated for the wrong diagnosis they are bound to make some bad decisions partly due to the human sin condition and partly due to their illness.  They also will take bad advice from time to time.  Here are a few things that I was consulted on.

Should I get another tattoo or pay this bill?  I think I should get the tattoo since I haven’t done anything for myself for a long time.  A friend said the bill will always be there next month.  He got the tattoo.

Should I try K2 (synthetic marijuana) because it’s legal, (it was legal at the time), and my friend said it’s not addictive?  I think I’m going to try it.  He tried it, smoked it for a while, and even offered it to me.  You can guess that was an interesting conversation.

Should I buy a newer truck and take out a loan or buy something older that I don’t need to borrow as much for?  I only have had my current job for two months but I know I will keep it long enough to afford the newer truck.  It won’t be like my previous jobs.  He bought it and it was repossessed about six months later.  He was only able to make one payment and quit the job a few weeks after buying the truck.

What should I do about my debt?  Maybe I’ll just ignore it and hope it goes away.  He ignored advice, ignored his debt and it grew and grew.

These sound pretty absurd, but all are true and really help get my point across.  David took advice from anyone that said what he wanted to hear.

Before we all point to him let’s think about ourselves.  When I need advice what do I do?

Do I only ask others that I know will agree with me?  
Does this sound somewhat familiar.  You want to buy that new clothing item, but really can't afford it right now so you reason with a friend that you haven't had a new outfit for ever so long.  It sounds alot like the tattoo David wanted.
Or how about this.  I can eat that extra yummy cake because it's a special occasion.  Never mind that I just had way too much dessert at the last three parties I was at over the last week and my friends were all saying that I only live once so I might as well indulge myself. Sounds a little like K2.

It can be as simple as overeating or even something like seeking marriage advice or similar serious types of decisions we may have to make.  

I think you get the idea.

Am I just like my son David was or just like Rehoboam in the Bible story above?

Good question.  How about you?  Where do you get your advice from?

Prayer:  Lord, help me to seek wise counsel and when I am tempted to only want my way remind me that your way is the best even when I don’t understand it. 

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  1. Ann, I LOVE this!!! It's so true. I recall a time when I shared (confessed) something to someone who I KNEW didn't share the same "moral" values as I, because I KNEW she wouldn't condemn me the way my conscience was. we seek advice from the people who know where we would "like" to be spiritually, or do we go to those who we know would never contradict us or hold us accountable to our faith? Great post. (And I'm not just saying that...:) )

  2. Tammie, I concur. Prayerfully we'll seek advice more and more from the spiritually mature.