Why is it that our own words of advice don’t seem to help when it comes to personal challenging situations? We can dish out the best of it. When a friend is hurting, we have just the right words, or know just what they need; when a loved one is sick, we give them tender care; and when someone is going down a wrong path, we lovingly discipline them.
I believe the answer to this question lies in this week’s “meaningful moment.”
When we are grounded in Christ, our words of direction and compassion to others come from a place of love. That’s when we know that Christ is involved and using us to provide guidance and care (we are the conduits through which He works).
Maybe that’s why when we try to take our “own” advice, it falls flat. Maybe our words of advice to ourselves isn’t coming from a place of love. The Lord wants to be the one to supply our every need. He wants us to pray. He wants us to lean into him—actually press into him and release all of our burdens. And, that’s when he goes to work. It’s not in “self” that we find the answers, it’s in Christ. For the Lord is the only one who can intervene and help us to move mountains.
I recall years ago when I was in a crisis situation. I was desperate and hysterical. I tried to take my own advice, and still I found myself struggling. But then I prayed, and at that very moment I was urged to call my friend Linda. “But it’s too late to call,” I reasoned. Next thing I know I was dialing her number, and she answered on the first ring. Words of distress poured out of my mouth as tears flowed down my face. But Linda didn’t speak her own words. She immediately grabbed her Bible and read the first passage she had opened to. And from her mouth poured life giving words—words of peace and comfort. When she finished reading, I was astounded (as I think she was, too). God used His words through the Bible, then through Linda to reach me “through and through!”
Since that time, I’ve learned that God intervenes and speaks to us in so many ways—sometimes his direction is clear and we just have that certain feeling we are on the right path. Other times, he may speak through a compassionate gesture or words from loved ones. And, as I’ve written about in previous blogs, a lot of times he uses nature to reach into the deepest recesses of our souls.
For it’s not on our own that we are experience words of wisdom and deep compassion, but rather through God’s wisdom, grace and compassion. He empowers us to work in the lives of others. And in return, allows them to work in our lives. So the next time you want to take your own advice, stop, look up and pray. For His answer will be the best advice you could ever hope for.