Probably due to my age and position on several boards, I am often asked for advice. I found today’s readings a good reminder of where to find wisdom and to “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk.”
In our New Testament reading, Jesus warns us that while we are to obey what the Pharisees teach, we are not to do as they do. The seven woes in this passage are examples of not practicing what we preach. Am I putting up roadblocks to our Lord’s kingdom? Am I making those I mentor a replica of myself rather than of Jesus? Do I fulfill all my promises? Am I complying with a set of rules, but neglect our Lord’s heart? Do I portray a clean exterior when my heart is full of self-indulgence (or hypocrisy or greed or wickedness)? Am I aware of when I am not pursuing God’s will for my life? When I go over a number of conversations and actions in the last month, there are too many times that I am not following my own advice or our Lord’s teaching.
In our Old Testament reading, Elihu is providing advice to Job and his three friends. I believe much of what Elihu says rings true, but not all. I question whether Elihu’s statement that Job “adds rebellion to his sin” in Job 34:37 is true. In the book of Job, I can’t find anywhere that Job “seeks rebellion.” Is Elihu just venting as he admitted earlier that his need to vent was his motivation for speaking Job 32: 19-20? When I give advice, am I certain that my motivation is correct, and not just to hear myself talk and to pump up my ego?
When we are asked for advice, our Psalm reading provides us good counsel. We need to be rooted in God’s word; God’s way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. (Psalm 18:30)
Key Thought: “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect”
Foothills Elder, proud grandfather, servant of all!