“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. There is only one true liberty–the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right. Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you? With patience and with gentleness.” – From Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest.
How many of us know someone who likes to pass out free advice, you know – the type who is for example the unmarried spinster (is that word politically correct?) who likes to counsel people about their marriage when no one is asking, or the type who has ten cats and considers that as “experience” about how to raise your children?
These are certainly humorous anecdotal stereotypes, but c’mon – admit it, most of us actually know someone vey similar to this. Certainly this snippet from Chambers’ well known work addresses this sort of unsolicited advice.
It also speaks well to the unsolicited advice for others about what we “think” they ought do in a given situation, which often can come from a desire to control disguised as concern, or to even undermine someone toward whom one covertly feels jealousy, which is not at all helpful. It’s good to listen, and then “check in with your insides” before becoming the self appointed shrink to a friend who may only want someone to listen to them, rather than fix them or their issues.
And God help us if we have not examined ourselves thoroughly enough to realize that we ourselves may be doing this! So it can come from either direction – either you’re receiving unsolicited advice, or dishing it out.
We all have these people in our lives that provide a lot of input that we aren’t looking for, especially when we approach life from the view of Jesus as our exemplar in all matters – He says (Jn 5:19,20): “… Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”
He encourages us to not only ask for wisdom, but see ourselves as one with the Father in Him. That, in fact was His final prayer. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)
It is through the application of Grace through the Holy Spirit that this oneness manifests, until Christ be formed in us (see Galatians 4: 19) Then we move through life as Jesus did, as one with the Father, being about the Father’s business, as ambassadors of the kingdom that is not of this world.
In this putting on of the Mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8), we no longer feel obligated to dispense unsolicited advice about what someone “should do” per our own agendas. In this state of mind, there are no personal agendas! Neither do we feel obligated to act upon the unsolicited advice of anyone else, but merely respond in a quiet and kindly manner – even when they are becoming adamant that they know what we must do – “I’ll pray about that and see what my Heavenly Father says.”