2/24/10

Friendly Advice: My Way or His?

"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-9

That peace that "transcends all understanding" is one of the gifts given to all those who call on God. There is a song that is called "Held" sung by Natalie Grant, one of my favorites although it's sad. The song speaks about bad things happening in people's lives with no answer of why it happened. But as Christians they do know they are being held by God and they have the comfort of His love and hope in their future because of Jesus.

When your friends go through tragedy, do you speak hope to them? When their marriage is falling apart, do you tell them there is still a way with Christ? When their kids are struggling in school, or being head-strong teenagers, do you pray?

The alternative is to be a "Negative Nelly." And instead tell your friend that fifty percent of all marriages will fall apart, so expect it sometimes, or that all kids struggle and it's a matter of just getting them out the door. This is not the Godly way of speaking with people. Jesus was kind and compassionate, we must encourage the same. He forgave quickly and loved immeasurably, that is also our challenge. Certainly we must be wise and allow those in abusive marriages to get help quickly. And for those rebellious teens to learn the hard way without taking advantage of their poor parents. But we must encourage our friends in a Christ-centered manner, unselfishly and with great hope.

I don't know what it's like to have a crumbling marriage, or even raise teenagers yet, but I do know God's Word. And God's word says that Jesus hears our prayers and answers them to bring God glory. God's word says we have a Counselor and Comforter in the Holy Spirit and we can depend on Him to counsel and bring comfort. Christians must stop giving worldly advice and once again look straight to the Bible to hear from God. It takes fasting, prayer and spending time in the Word in order to be the right kind of advice-giver. This will be difficult at times, but that is the way that we must operate in order to be effective in this dying world.

1 comment:

HennHouse said...

I do love Philippians.

And what a great interpretation of this passage.

Thank you.