Listening to: The Clash
Reading: Matthew 5-7
Writing About: Responsibility, Pragmatism, Idealism
Before I get into this. Why is the term “badvice” not a thing?
Last week I gave bad advice twice.
It wasn’t advice on baking or how to save money on something by doing it yourself (or not doing it at all) or any other hobby that I am perfectly qualified to give bad advice on.
In both instances I was giving advice as a minister. In both instances my advice included explicit encouragement to do something that I believe is wrong.
Here are my bad advice takeaways from last week:
1. Seriously, have you been reading this? Don’t listen to me. Stop reading. Ignore me.
2. There is a very fine line between being responsible in my roll as a minister and being bossy;
between guidance and control.
3. Knowing what I believe about right and wrong has always come easy to me. Applying those beliefs to real life, muddy, complex situations has always been very difficult for me.
Here are the character traits I discovered when reflecting on my role as inept advisor:
I am a know it all, and I speak directly. Read: Bossy.
I am a terrible listener. And you are too, I told you to stop reading 100 words ago
I underestimate what is possible, what I call “realistic” may actually be pessimistic/nihilistic
The Heart of the Problem:
Jesus was not a pragmatist. Jesus asked us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to not repay evil for evil. Then Jesus was arrested and killed.
I understand Peter, who took out a sword to defend Jesus. If Peter had asked my opinion I’d probably have said it was a bad idea, but the better of two bad options. This is the real world right? somebody’s got to defend Jesus!
If I am going to grow in this, I am going to grow towards idealism.
If, in the future, you are unfortunate enough to receive some unsolicited advice from me or foolish enough to ask for advice…I hope I don’t encourage you to pursue the least bad possible option. I hope I am able to encourage you to pursue the holy and perfect future God can create in and through us.