Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
My take away from this year so far is to stop giving unsolicited advice in a one-on-one personal level. Jesus never just jammed His thoughts down someone’s throats. We should intentionally imitate Jesus as we are being transformed into His image. He always thought before He spoke. And He gave personal one-on-one advice usually only when asked. I needed to learn this.
A. Advice that is unsolicited almost always causes problems. Usually doesn’t help, isn’t received and causes division. I love Ray Comfort videos. He’s a famous, one-on-one street evengalist. He always starts with a nice conversation, never just pounces on people. Chuck Smith always said, ‘they will never care about how much you know until they know how much you care’. Every now and then unsolicited advice may work if prompted by the Holy Spirit, but not often. When I first got back from overseas, a homeless man shouted at me ‘you need Jesus!’ Made me mad, but I still remember it to this day. God used it. But usually unsolicited advice only divides and separates. Our opinions mean absolutely nothing. If they aren’t asking for your advice, don’t give it to them. Again, writing newsletters, Jesus’ sermon on the mount, speeches, teachings to crowds are all unsolicited advise. I am talking about giving unsolicited advise on a personal level. Sometimes it works and is helpful. Most time it isn’t. Personally I LOVE and process internally unsolicited advice, but most people don’t.
Proverbs 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
B. Advice that is solicited opens up a dialog. Usually good solicited advice unites instead of divides. Lots of good things happen when advice is asked for. Dialogs make you love someone, or not. You can’t just look at someone and really love them without knowing them. (Spiritually you can, but your flesh might react once you get to know them.). Like a baby, giving you that beautiful smile when you first meet them and you fall in love with it. Then you realize that ‘beautiful smile’ was just it’s ‘going to the potty face’’. When a person asks for advice, respond gently and lovingly. In that first situation where Jesus was asked what needed to be done to be saved, it said in Mark that Jesus looked at Him and loved him. Understand that just because they ask doesn’t mean that they’re saved yet. But they are on the right track.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
In my opinion, people asking for prayer are asking for advice. If someone asks me to pray for their relationship with their mom or son, don’t be upset when I ask about them later on, or try to give advice. If you don’t want advice, don’t ask for prayer from me. I won’t always have advice, but I might. Asking for prayer about something is asking for the Lord’s guidance and direction.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16.
That being said, UnsolicitedPrayer is a whole other story. We are to pray for those who don’t ask for prayer. Of course, don’t tell them you’re doing it!
Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Love Dean and Winnie