A few weeks ago I was trying to determine who I should partner with for the NCFCA Moot Court competition. I got an offer from someone, and thought about it. Then I asked a close friend, who is my age, what he thought. A few hours later, I asked my mom. Within minutes of finishing speaking with my mom, I notified the other person of my answer.
In the end, what my friend said didn't weigh as heavily in my decision as what my mom said. Yet I asked my peer first. Why?
Often times, we primarily ask our peers for advice. This is an inherently flawed system. I once heard someone say, “someone standing beside you can't see any farther down the road than you can.”
During our midweek service, my pastor preached on the importance of the “aged” members if the church, and how they should have a key role in the instruction of the next generation. Using Titus 2:1-8, he emphasized that God has ordained that the older generation should “teach the young” the ways of God.
The experienced are to teach the inexperienced. That's the way God intended it. And it makes a lot of sense.
Debate has taught me to place a much greater value on what the experienced experts say than those with little knowledge of the subject. But that shouldn't just be our guide when making Federal policy, it should be forefront in our everyday decisions. Yet, too often, people (of all ages) place a greater emphasis on what their peers say than on what the “experts” in the field of experience say. If they even bother to ask at all.
In 1 Kings 12, the Bible gives us a tragic account of the consequences of preferring the advice of our peers above counsel of those whom God has placed in our lives. In this chapter, the throne had just been transferred to Solomon's son, Rehoboam.
Rehoboam started out well. He first asked for advice from “the old men, that stood before Solomon his father”. They told him to relieve the people's burdens. Then he consulted with his peers, who told him to increase the people's burdens. Strangely, “he forsook the counsel of the old men.” Instead, he followed the advice of the young men around him, which the Bible tellingly notes were the ones that had “grown up with him.” (1 Kings 12 6-8)
“So Israel rebelled” (1 Kings 12:19)
Rehoboam had it all! He was the king of the land. But he blew it because he cared more about what his peers said than the wisdom he received from his God-given counselors (“experts”).
This was in spite of what his wise father had told him. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother...They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way...” (Proverbs 1:8, 30-31a). Whether it is a parent, older man or woman, pastor, or teacher, God has placed people in our lives that have a lot more wisdom to help us than our peers do. We should take advantage of that.
There was one specific time I remember a peer giving me some very good advice. I thanked him for it.
Then he replied, “that's what my dad told me.”
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.