Spires of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

The danger in being full of your own advice


I’m stubborn, in case you didn’t know that about me. I’m obstinate to the point of the ridiculous. I like doing things my own way, and I hate–I hate, hate, hate–asking for help. You always hear the stereotypes about men hating to ask for directions? I’m worse. I’ll waste an hour in the grocery store trying to find something before I’ll even consider asking someone to tell me where to find it.

I like going my own way, and I don’t particularly want other people to tell me different. So what am I supposed to do with the verse God led me to today?

Spires of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Spires of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Today’s verse is James 3:17.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

I get the peace loving and the gentle part. And the mercy and good deeds and fairness and sincerity, sure. But willing to yield to others? Seriously? How is that God’s wisdom?

I’m being sarcastic. If it’s in the Bible, I’m going to live by it, but that doesn’t mean I always go without a fight. I’m quite Scottish, after all.

But let’s just be gut level honest here. How often are you willing to yield to other people? How frequently do you submit to your authorities? Or maybe not even your authorities. How frequently do you submit to your friends? And I’m not talking about yielding to your friends to go do stupid stuff. That’s not wisdom, and that’s obvious.

I checked in the Amplified version and the phrase is uses is “willing to yield to reason.” So this verse isn’t saying that you have to give in to every person who comes along and surrender your will to the next fellow who claims to know everything. Absolutely not.

But if you have people in your life who love God and follow Christ and try to live by His Word, yielding to them isn’t a bad idea. Why? Because you don’t know everything.

This is the part I struggle with. I’m supposed to know it all. I’m supposed to be the smart, independent one who doesn’t need help, and yielding to someone else’s opinions automatically makes me weak (in my mind). It means I don’t know everything. It means I need help. It means I’m flawed.

Sound like pride to you?

Pride is the enemy of wisdom. Pride tells you that you can do it yourself. Pride tells you that you know better. Wisdom is the quiet voice at the back of your head whispering that taking someone else’s advice isn’t such a bad idea.

If you’ve got people in your life who are wise according to the Bible, listen to them. More than just listen, consider doing what they tell you. Granted the verse doesn’t say you must do what other people tell you; it says be willing to yield.

This all stems from your heart attitude. If you walk through life thinking that you have all the answers and you don’t need anyone’s help, you’re going to make a lot of foolish mistakes. But God has strategically placed people in your path who can teach you what you need to know when you need to know it. But if you’re so full of your own advice, you won’t have room for theirs.

Choose wisdom. Listen to reasonable advice. Be willing to take it. And watch how God transforms your life.