We’ve just finished an amazing (historic, annoying, crazy) political season, and the fireworks will continue for some time. What has really struck me lately, is how much we adore our “experts” in America. We hang on their words, we trust what they say, we change our behavior based on their advice. The funny thing is, the next expert completely contradicts their advice and has compelling reasons why. Throw into the mix that most of them are bought and paid for, but none of that matters because we love our experts.
The funny thing is that we make people experts unwittingly, I think. For instance, our system of religion teaches us that a pastor should be the expert on hearing from God. So, we go to them with our troubles and expect them to hear God and give us the solution to the problem. I would say a deeper problem is that sometimes we pastors believe we have the answers. I have caught myself relying on the wisdom or advice that jumps to mind when talking to people. And, I’m sure down somewhere in myself in places I don’t want to talk about, I really like the fact that people want to know MY advice. But, this is not how it should be.
The scripture tells us that God speaks directly to our hearts, everyone, not just the pastors. Instead of trying to help people from our own wisdom, we need to immediately ask people what they are hearing from God about the situation, and if they are obeying that voice. As part of the Journey, we want to teach people to rely on God, not some system of religion or a solitary leader of that system. We want them to know how to hear God’s voice and obey so that they can be an example to their friends of how to hear God’s voice and obey.
My hope is that whenever I unwittingly or instinctually offer my own advice, someone is there to ask if I am pointing people to God’s wisdom or pointing them to a man who is just as imperfect as anyone.