Weighing Advice

Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

But David said to Abishai, "Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?"

- 1 Samuel 26:8-9

Even the best advisors can give bad advice sometimes.

In today’s passage, David was on the run. Though he had served King Saul faithfully, David was a wanted man, hunted by the king and his army through the wilderness.

David and one of his advisors snuck into King Saul’s camp at night, past the watchmen and the guards and right up to King Saul’s tent. Abishai saw this as a sign from God and a great opportunity to stop running. One swift stroke and all David’s troubles would be over—he would kill Saul and David would be crowned king.

This – on the surface – sounds like good advice.

We receive things that sound like good advice all the time. Financial advice. Parenting advice. Career advice. Facebook advice. But not all advice is created equal.

And it’s not enough to just consider the source. Many of us will pick trusted advice-sources and lean heavily on them: parents, neighbors, TV networks … even the odd pastor here and there. But even these wise advice sources can be misleading, misguided and wrong.

David’s success in his life and leadership always came as a result of honoring the Lord’s order for the world. When he aligned himself with the Lord’s order – don’t kill the Lord’s anointed – things went well. When he ignored the Lord’s order – don’t sleep with another man’s wife – things went poorly (more on that tomorrow).

What David needed (and had) was a source beyond his friends against which he could weigh their advice. We need the same thing.

For those of us who are followers of Jesus, all advice we received gets weighed against the Bible. The Bible is where we learn about the Lord’s order for the world. When we evaluate the advice we get through the lens of a prayerful reading of the Scriptures, God is good to help us to sift through the input of others to ensure that we are making a truly wise decision.

What would happen if we paused when receiving advice to ask “How does this advice align with what God says in the Bible?”

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