Need Advice? Who Do You Trust?

If there’s one thing women are really good at it’s the simultaneous delivery of sympathy and advice.

Long an advice giver myself, I’m fond of wrapping compassion, kindness and my own savvy into a tidy gift box for a friend in need, as an expression of love. The problem is, I barely understand my own life, much less yours, so who am I to tell you what to do?

77 - Happy Mother's Day

In fact, I recall once wanting something so badly, I fixated on it until I was miserable. Since my friends love me and don’t want me miserable, they helped me plot its acquisition. When I finally got it, it blew up in my face. All of us acted surprised about that, but I don’t think we were. We knew it was a bad idea, we just hoped I’d get away with it.

If ever there was a case for faith, specifically Biblical faith, that’s it. We aren’t as trustworthy or prescient as we like to think, plus we muddy our own waters with selfishness and delusion.

But God never does.

As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him. Psalm 18:30 (AMP)

I can feel some of you fighting that because, like me for many years, you don’t believe it’s true. That’s the bad news of faith. It is, by definition, experiential and irrational. If you could prove it before committing, it wouldn’t be faith, it would be theory.

Others of you are scanning centuries of Christian behavior, the rampant abuse and misapplication of scripture, and saying  “ummmm no thank you.”

I get it. But what do you do instead? Who do you trust? I tried trusting myself but I proved unreliable. What then?

If secular wisdom is a viable alternative to Biblical wisdom, why does it appear we are devolving as a species? Why, by our clever devices, are we destroying our planet, poisoning our food, water, air and allowing poverty to plague 2/3 of the world’s population?

I’m reading a book now called The Old Testament Template. In it, author Landa Cope maintains that Moses didn’t lead the Nation of Israel out of Egypt, into the desert. He led a ragtag mess of hungry, thirsty, whining former slaves numbering in the millions, with rocks in their hands, into the desert. There, through Moses, God taught them how to be a nation. Three hundred years later, Israel was the wealthiest nation the world had ever seen. The Bible says incredible things about a free press, debt, the judiciary, art, science, education and the alleviation of systemic poverty, we just have to look.

All that to say, the God of the Bible promises big things to people who will suffer the leaps necessary to follow his advice and obey Him. There are tools available to us, and they work. They just aren’t free.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

Living in Wisdom and Love – Meet Gayna

On Monday, I asked you, my readers, to think about how and whether you live with intention and purpose. As Bob Goff says, forget what you are capable of doing, what were you made to do?

One response caught in my throat.

Meet Gayna. She’s a born and bred East Texas gal, who works with special needs kids in the local school district. Here is her answer to the question:

Picture 1I have always taught my children that no matter what comes our way that God has our back! I have taught them that everyone has a God-given talent and we are to take that talent and use it for the good in our lives and others. Needless to say this is how I was raised. I have been blessed to possess the talent to work and teach children and youth. My joy has been hearing a child I have worked with for months say his first word, take his first step or just acknowledge that he is loved. Wow!

The emphasis is mine because that is exactly what I’m after here. Love + Service = Joy.

When the Apostle John said, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us, I think he was dreaming of a girl like Gayna.

Countless kids have tumbled into her orbit and because of who she is, they cycled out with more love, more confidence and more vision for their own lives. What Gayna does is simple, but it’s not easy. She listens to Jesus and does what he says, whether anyone notices or not.

Soon, a few of us are embarking on a new project based on that very simple principle. Don’t just talk about Him, do what he says. Christians and non Christians are welcome to join us because this isn’t about religion, it’s about wisdom and love, and discovering your purpose, so you can live it.

If you want to come along, sign up as an email follower, so we can keep you posted. In the meantime fill in the blank:

If I could, I would love to ________________.