Most people tell you that getting good advice is important. I would tend to agree. Regardless of my thoughts, Scripture definitely affirms the value of advice. Proverbs 12:15 says, “a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Proverbs 11:14 says, “in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:6 says, “in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
In other words, seeking and receiving advice is a good thing. But, have you ever considered how supposedly good advice often stands in direct contradiction to other good advice? Think about the following examples:
- “You need to save as much as you can” vs. “You’ll only be at *said stage in life* once, you need to live it up while you are here”
- “Don’t judge a book by its cover” vs. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”
- “Hire the candidate with the best experience, education, and overall credentials” vs. “Hiring from within always trumps hiring from the outside”
We could go on and on with these types of examples, but the point is that good advice is often dependent on the circumstances. If you take one piece of good advice and make it an absolute rule, you will probably end up with a hot mess on your hands.
Frankly, this is why many people end up with wrong views of various religions. If they are all simply advice about how to live, we would be wise not to see any of them as universally true. And, most religions are exactly that – advice on how to live. But Christianity is different.
Christianity offers not good advice, but good news. Christianity offers a proclamation of what has already been done for you, not a recommendation of what you should do. If you are looking for advice on how to solve your problems and have a better life, you won’t like Christianity’s solution. This solution says that humans are beyond the repair of good advice. Therefore, we don’t need good advice on what to do next because advice and human action are simply incapable of fixing our mess.
What do we need instead? We need Good News about what God already did to fix our mess. That’s what the Gospel of Jesus is – Good News. It isn’t good advice. If it were good advice, it wouldn’t be good, because it would be doomed to fail.
Advice is dependent upon circumstances, but all of us experience the brokenness of the world. If there’s a solution to the brokenness, therefore, it must not be advice. Praise God that he has not provided us with advice for how to live, but Good News about what Jesus already did!
Have you received “good” advice that contradicted other “good” advice you were given? Tell us about it in a comment!