Thought I don’t recall the situation that led me to ask Gary’s opinion, I do remember how the conversation ended. After he shared his view I said “Ok, but…” and on and on the cycle went until he finally asked what my opinion was because apparently I wasn’t going to stop with the ‘buts’ until he agreed with me.
I smile at the memory because of the truth I see there. I wanted wise advice but I wanted it to align with the direction I already thought I should go in. I wonder if I’m the only one ever guilty of this. I’ve even been known to leave the side of one person and go find others until someone finally agreed. The problem: if you ask enough people you will finally find someone to agree with you.
Such was the case of Rehoboam.
Solomon’s reign ended with his death. His son Rehoboam had plans to succeed his father so he went to Sheckem for the ceremony only to find a group of Israelites with a question. Solomon had built beautiful structures, strategic cities, and even had a fleet of ships. Each accomplishment though was built off of the taxes and toil of his own people and they were tired. The delegation asked Rehoboam to lighten the heavy yoke and in return they would always be his servants. Rehoboam responded wisely in asking for 3 days to make a decision.
He also acted wisely in asking his father’s counselors. However, after Solomon’s advisors told Rehoboam to respond favorably to the people and lighten the load, he rejected their words and sought counsel elsewhere.
Rehoboam sought out the young men he grew up with and listened to them, which tells me it was how he wanted to respond all along. Three days later, the delegation returned and Rehoboam told them the yoke would be much heavier under his rule. I don’t think he got the response he expected. The kingdom was torn into two pieces. Ten tribes of Israel became the Northern Kingdom and two tribes the Southern Kingdom of which Rehoboam ruled. He blew it big time!
Another school year ends this week, my 25th as a teacher. Some 160 young men and women will walk the stage to receive their diploma, our youngest child among them. This group of seniors like the 24 I’ve taught before them is ready to take the next step and enter the workforce, go to college, or enter the military. Many believe they have all the answers and need no guidance, especially from parents or older adults. Please reconsider.
Einstein said- “The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
The older and wiser I get the more I come to understand that I don’t have all the answers and the more I value wise counsel, though not just from anyone. I carefully select those whose opinions I seek. And I don’t want someone who always agrees with me (which is why I often ask Gary’s opinion). I need someone to challenge my views!
Seniors- my advice? Seek advice. The decision is yours to make but be informed when you make it.
Lord, just as I advice these seniors to seek counsel, I want to follow suit. I need your counsel. I need the counsel of wise godly people. Thank you for sending people to which I can go. Help me to give wise advice to others who come seeking it. Amen!