Monday, August 24, 2009

2009 – Day 235.Aug 24 – Good And Bad Advice

Passage of the Day: Job 3: 1 - 26 … Linked for study ...

My Journal for Today:
Once again we focus on the feelings of Job as he deals with his personal questions of ill being in Chapter three of Job’s book. He is so rocked by personal loss and pain that he doesn’t know where to turn for help or counsel; and as we know from Chapter 2, there sit his three friends who have earned the right to be heard because they have shared his grief. They even sat with him for seven days and nights sharing the solitude of Job’s loss. So, it’s only natural that Job would hear the counsel of these men, which begins, if you read ahead in Chapter 4.

And we all know what it’s like to seek counsel from another when we’re down and out or confused. And I’m sure that we’ve all had times when the advice we sought was helpful, … maybe even life saving. As we know, from the book of Proverbs, seeking feedback from persons we trust is a wise move. For example, Swindoll quotes Prov. 12: 15, which says, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Following good advice from wise or experienced counsel can help to bring clarity or release from our confusion or pain.

However, sometimes we get counsel and it seems like our counselors are hitting us between the eyes with even more pain. We know our counselors love us; but what they say is tough to hear, maybe even highly confrontational. It’s the working out of Prov. 27: 6, which states, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” It’s what we now often call “tough love.”

So, here is Job, wracked with pain and dazed by confusion over why God would visit his life with such devastation; and Job has three friends who have earned their way to be trusted as counselors. And I’m sure you know that one of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, in Job 4-5, gives our hero some feedback as to why God may have wrought or allowed Job to experience such horror. But is it bad or good advice; well that was what Job had to decide; and any time we get advice from someone, even if that person seems trustworthy or capable of being our counselor, we need to test that advice. That’s the truth of 1st John 4: 1 or 1st Thes. 5: 21; and that’s what Job had to do with the feedback he would received from his friends.

My friend, what this illustrates is not necessarily a bad thing, though we know that the advice Job will get from his three friends is less than sterling. It is still a good thing to seek out and listen to trustworthy and loyal servants of God, … Godly men or women, who have earned the right to share their thoughts and wisdom with you. However, following the counsel, it is also wise to evaluate what they say in light of God’s truth and, above all, to seek The Lord’s peace before moving on with any decision or clear direction. That is the advice I always use from Paul from Phil. 4: 6-7 [link provided] when I have need to make an important and Godly decision. That teaching would take some time here to clarify; but I’ll leave it to you to grasp the powerful advice of this latter Bible passage to help you understand where God is leading you.

And as we know, that’s where Job ultimately goes, checking all the counsel he receives from friends with God to make sure His relationship with God is were he receives the ultimate guidance and wisdom. I hope we all know to go deep with God and find God’s peace when we’re confused or lacking clarity. God’s peace, which passes all understanding, is really the only absolutely trustworthy way to get direction we’ll ever get to tell us where to walk in the minefields of life.

My Prayer for Today: Show me the way, Lord, … Your way. Amen

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