By Guest Contributor: Joseph Giovannucci (aka Ashley’s awesome husband)
Almost all of us have experienced that moment in our lives when we desperately want to go somewhere or do something with our friends and we beg our mom and dad, as sincerely as we are able, to give us their permission. “Mom! All my friends are going to be there!”
Then it happens. The swift and decisive defeat we’ve all fallen victim to. “Honey, if your friends were jumping off a bridge would you jump too?” Sheepishly we mumble a no and usually go pout for a little while as our brains catch up to our hearts and we realize that our parents might maybe be a little bit right.
It’s a silly example, but if you’re not glad that your parents helped guide your decision making as you grew up then you might not be old enough to appreciate it. Wow. Don’t I just sound like an old person? Anyway, the Bible contains hundreds of verses on wisdom and many of them link wisdom to humbly accepting advice from people with more wisdom than you.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise (Proverbs 19:20).”
Listening to bad advice
Major trouble falls on people who listen to bad advice. In 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam, a brand-new king of Israel, asked advice of the older, more experienced advisors that had served his father Solomon for years. The people wanted their new king to lighten their load a little bit since Solomon had worked them pretty hard. His father’s advisors thought it would be a good idea to gain some favor with the people, but Rehoboam didn’t think that sounded very fun so instead he asked his bros to hook him up with a fire diss track to convey the fact that he was going to make the people work even harder than before. This angered the people to the point of rebellion and guess how much work they got done then? Within 5 years the Egyptians attacked his dysfunctional nation and stole all the wealth his father had left him. Wisdom spoke, Rehoboam ignored it, and he leapt to his destruction.
Don’t discount the advice of those who care about you. It seems like a regular occurrence now to watch friends that I grew up with jumping off the bridge in spite of all their friends telling them not to do it. It’s one thing to give into peer pressure. It’s another thing to stand up to everyone in the world who loves you the most and tell them that they don’t get it… that you need to jump off the bridge to be happy… that you are going to live your own life and they need to accept you for it. It sounds ridiculously simple when it’s a bridge over a rocky gorge, but insert any sinful choice in place of that bridge and the destruction is just as certain.
Confronting close friends
If one of your friends cares enough about you to confront you about the direction that you’re heading in, know that they’re probably scared to death about losing your friendship, but they love you enough to stand between you and the rail of that bridge in your life and beg you to stop. I wrote one of my sisters a letter for her birthday recently and with all of this churning around in my brain, I advised her to keep her old friends close and avoid searching out new friends who play the “yes” man and never challenge her or force her to grow.
“Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise (Prov. 15:12).”
Maybe you are getting close to the edge and you are starting to see some of the consequences of your choice. I wrote this article for you. One thing you’ll hear often from the AMH team is that it’s never too late to choose God and begin your pursuit of Him. Just because you’ve gone down a bad path doesn’t mean you can’t turn around. In fact, you’re exactly who Jesus came for. As He said…
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).”
Turn around and start walking toward Jesus; you’ll only find forgiveness.
As a bonus, it’ll probably make your mom’s day if you tell her you followed her advice to not jump off the bridge when your friends were all doing it….