They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:5-6
There is a lot of free advice out there.
All you have to do is listen to the experts and semi-knowledgeable, and you will know exactly what you should do. That's what Charlie Stink found out. Charlie Stink was constantly being told by his friends and coworkers that he should have his name changed to something that sounded better.
Finally, Charlie Stink gave in and went to the court to have the legal work completed. The next day back at work, his associates inquired, "Well what did you have your name changed to?" "I changed it to George Stink," he answered, "but for the life of me I can't see what difference it's going to make!"
I guess that's what often happens when we follow the advice of the world and try to please others. In spite of our seemingly good intentions, things just don't work out the way we, or they, planned.
Maybe that's why most of us stop trying to remake ourselves into the person who pleases everybody all the time. Far better for us is it to please the Lord who has saved us, far wiser to listen to the Lord who knows what is best for us. He, and He alone, has, and is, the Spirit of truth.
There are certain advantages to listening to the Lord. First, the Lord's directions aren't confusing or contradictory. Second, our God doesn't change His mind. Third, and most importantly, since the Father sent His Son to save us, He will always give us wise advice -- advice that is profitable and right and true.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, sometimes listening to those around us is easier than listening to You. Give us the discernment to distinguish between Your Spirit of truth and man's spirit of error. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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