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But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, And on His Law he meditates day and night.Psalm 1:2
Have you ever been misled or made a poor decision based on what proved to be bad advice from someone? More than likely, we all have at some point in time, but here is a more interesting question: Have you ever given someone lousy advice? Again, more than likely, we all have and for some, perhaps knowingly as well. The poet who penned Psalm 1 understood the importance of discerning between good and bad advice.
I remember a story about a young engineer in the Navy who wanted to prove himself to his superiors. He was confident that he could fix a broken pump that his work center supervisor ordered to be left offline. The young engineer convinced a senior petty officer that he had repaired the pump and that they should do an operational test. As you might guess, the test failed miserably, and the senior petty officer, not the young engineer, was held responsible. Now, this is a true story, and I should know because I was that young, impulsive engineer! I was wrong, and I did apologize. It is important to note that the petty officer never sought vengeance against me; instead, he took me under his wing and helped me hone my engineering skills; He extended to me God-like mercy and grace.
The psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked” (Psalm 1:1). You can be sure that my senior petty officer would have preferred not to suffer the consequences of listening to me. What the poet is expressing in the psalm is this: When a believer steers clear of ungodly advice and the fellowship of immorality, the psalmist says, “his delight is the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). When we meditate on God’s word continually, we always walk in His perfect counsel, not the world’s. However, at times when we do follow the unwise counsel of others that leads to sin, God stand’s ready to extend to us mercy and grace, to forgive us, take us back under His wing, and teach us to walk in His righteousness.
So as we move forward through this brief journey we call life, let us be cautious when we encounter advice and especially what someone perceives to be godly advice– to make sure it stands in equilibrium with Scripture. Equally important, let us be sure that our advice to others is accurate, in that person’s best interest, and that it honors God above all.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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