Giving advice is a lot easier than taking it. If one follows the clich?s, people without kids always give the best advice to parents. They are informed, knowledgeable, and certain. The minor detail of experience usually does not dampen their enthusiasm and confidence. Advice givers, and attitudes, do not end there. Residents of a city often have the strongest views on tourist options even though they have never experienced any of them. Senior managers always have the answer for those in the trenches, even though they do not live, work, or depend on the outcome for their success. It is as if being uninformed is a pre-requisite to giving an opinion.
I do not think it end with the obvious, at least in my life. As I watch the replays in my mind – how the interactions went with Jordon at the coffee shop in the morning, the familiar unnamed security guards at the building, or the almost familiar faces at Starbucks – I find myself wondering if I understand the advice I receive, and give. Do I understand what is at stake? Do I appreciate the struggle that is at hand, for others and even for me? Am I looking at everything around me?
On every question, the answer is a hedge. Candidly, the answer is yes, but no. At the core, a theme pervades your life and mine! We are children of God. We are part of Divinity’s family. We are at war with evil. These facts can and should shape the advice of our lives. “Get out of Babylon [evil]! Run from the Babylonians! Shout the news. Broadcast it. Let the world know, the whole world. Tell them, ‘God redeemed his dear servant Jacob!’” (Isaiah 48.20) We may not realize the truth; we are spiritual Jacobs. God has and is giving us a future filled with Hope. We are all on the same side, even as we fight the evil within and without.
Today is an opportunity to live the advice already within our souls. We can make a difference, to/for others and for ourselves.
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