Have you ever gotten bad advice? When I was younger, the bad advice that was sure to ensue was preceded by, “I dare you to…” Then the bad advice, masked as encouragement followed. “You can do this.” “It’s not gonna hurt you.” “It won’t make you sick…that long.” I’m just thankful God kept me alive long enough for me to get to know Him!
Well I am overwhelmingly thankful that God did bring me into His family and also that He has done a work in me to mature me. At least I am not where I used to be. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” So I learned as I’ve grown up in the church that there is good advice and bad advice. Most definitely there can bad advice outside of the church, but I’m also referring to the bad advice you can receive in church.
Now how do you decipher the good from the bad? How do you take an active step for the better? I mean, this could easily become simply another blog in the myriad of bad advice pools. When in doubt go to either the originator of a product, or the manual. There is a button on my truck that I wasn’t sure what it did. So we had a couple of options. Either we turn it and just see what happens. “Woohoo! Murica!” Or we take out the manual and read about it before I mess something up. We chose the latter.
Let me offer some advice. Hold up! I know I know I’ve made you leary of accepting any. But I’ll show you where I get this from. Here’s my advice: Don’t just fill up your schedule with anything. Fill it up with the things of God. Take this idea to the most inner level of a person; your thoughts. Think about what you think about. I heard someone say, “Don’t believe everything you think.” That’s great advice! My father-in-law even has a t-shirt that says, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. -Abraham Lincoln” I’ll wait.
But don’t just take my word for it. Test me and see where I get that from. Isn’t that what we should do? 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Everything changed for me when I came to Jesus in faith and entered into the family of God. What I do and how I live has a completely different meaning now. One of the cherry-on-top, bonuses that you now have in Jesus is the Bible. God’s word. God’s instructions on what to do and how to avoid bad advice. So what He says at the most fundamental level of a person is to take a military approach to controlling your very thoughts. It makes sense, right? James 1:13-15 reminds us that sin is birthed out of our sinful desires and thoughts. So controlling your thoughts is essential! Take a bold, no nonsense approach to your thoughts and everything that comes at you. As Paul says, “Make them obedient to Christ.” Don’t just let stuff happen to you. We can’t be content with a reactive thought life. Take a proactive stance. Be ready. Know what you’re going to do. So the next time you have advice (good or bad) thrown at you, or have to make a decision, base it on the Originator’s words. Make your thoughts obedient to Christ. Don’t just fill up your mind and schedule with anything. Fill them with the things of God.