“Those who ignore instruction despise themselves, but those who heed admonition gain understanding.” (Proverbs 15:32, NRSV)
When I was a kid my parents would not just assign me a chore to complete, but they would give me instructions on how to complete that chore. Some of you may know what I’m talking about. Most of the time the instructions made no sense to me. I could not wrap my head around why they were telling me to do it that. And in the end, there was usually a reason.
It would be (and was) easy to ignore some of the instructions and do it my way. Sometimes (when I was lucky) things would work out ok. But other times it would usually result in a big mess that one of my parents would have to rescue me out of.
When it comes to our faith it is so easy to assume that we have it all figured out. And that is the very moment we know we don’t! It’s so easy to ignore the advice given to us by older folks in our faith communities. We don’t pray on a good day and think we’re ok. We leave our Bibles on our shelves collecting dust and don’t think twice about it.
This proverb cautions us to not ignore the instructions we are given, but heed the advice or counsel. And I think there is an implication for us to seek someone to be our Yoda – our faith mentor – our wisdom guide – on this journey called faith. A person who will be honest with us and whom we will willingly seek advice. Someone we feel comfortable talking to about our doubts and struggles; questions
- In what ways have you ignored instruction or advice? What mess did it leave you in?
- In what ways do you listen to the advice and counsel of others?
- Who in your life has been a Yoda to your faith life?
- How are you a Yoda to others?
Pray: Lord, thank you for our Yodas and help us graciously receive advice and instruction from others as we grow in our faith. Amen.