Today there are also many personalities that gather followings because they are charismatic or simply say what we want them to hear, what justifies our behavior or gives us permission to do what we thought was against the “rules”. So what is our measure of wisdom? The Bible is full of examples where bad wisdom was dealt out by leaders, God’s representatives and friends.
In 1 Kings 21, we read about King Rehoboam, successor to King Solomon. He had the opportunity to unify Israel had he listened to the counsel of his elders. “But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.” They convinced him to continue in the opposite direction. His decision affected the lives of untold numbers of people as he declared, “My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”
In 1 Chronicles 21:1-3, Satan is the one who incited David to act against God’s instructions and take a census. When confronted with advice from Joab cautioning him that he would bring guilt on Israel verse 4 states, “The king’s word, however, overruled Joab.” This brought guilt and consequences to tens of thousands.
In the Book of Job, Jobs three friends tried to convince Job that he needed to admit his sin so that his suffering would end. Only as God points out to Eliphaz in Job 42, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”
Every day I serve God, I realize my words, my example, and my choices have the power to affect other people’s lives, for the good or for ill. Things that I say and things I do give others permission to follow my example. Frankly, this scares me to death knowing my own failings. When I was younger and had fewer convictions, I did things because I saw other Christians doing them. Now I am less worried about what people think or do and know my focus needs to be on pleasing God and not people (Galatians 1:10). I understand sacrifice is required of the mature believer to not put a stumbling block in the path of another believer or God’s ministry. (Romans 14:13, I Corinthians 8:9, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
Take a moment and meditate on what James says about wisdom in James 3:13-18.
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."
Now, evaluate the advice you follow, is it wisdom from heaven? Is it consistent with God’s Word? How will others be affected by your life if you follow it? Does it bring glory and honor to our Savior?
Posted on Tue, February 21, 2012
by Cathy Hurtado