Monday April 26, 2021
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 1
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
We all listen to the advice of other people. Well, most of do! It’s the rare person who can go through life without asking someone “What do you think I should do?” More than that we all have people in our lives who will happily give out advice – even if we don’t ask for it. And most of the time we listen.
But who we listen to is important. The Psalmist here in verse one is making the point that it’s not wrong to seek advice and counsel – we just have to be discerning about who we get it from. What is their perspective? What is their motivation? Where is their heart?
So how do we make sure we don’t “follow the advice of the wicked” – especially when it comes to big life decisions? Here’s a few ideas. First, don’t throw open the gates to everyone. I have a friend who is constantly posting questions – big, life-changing questions – on Facebook! It’s one thing to ask advice on a plumber or how to get rid of squirrels. It’s quite another to ask hundreds of people if you should quit your job. Advice should come from people who know you well and know your situation fully.
Second, the character of the advice-giver is important. I think this is the main point of verse one. We need to be discerning about who we listen to. Is this someone who follows Christ in their own life? Is this someone who puts others first instead of themselves?
Finally, run all advice you get through the filter of the Holy Spirit. Pray that the Holy Spirit will point you in the right direction and trust what the Spirit tells you. If something feels off about the advice – it probably is not the path you should take. Even if the advice is good – it might not be the best for you and your situation.
God thank you for those individuals in our lives who we can trust to help us make wise choices. Give us the ability to listen with wisdom and always choose ultimately to follow you and your voice.