Are you known for giving good advice? Do people listen when you speak? Better yet, do they always follow through on the advice you give? The answer will be evident in their lives eventually, as well as in your own. Some of us are good at telling others what to do, but do we follow our own instructions for doing what’s right and avoiding the wrong? The apostle Paul wrote;
“No matter who you are, before you judge the wickedness of others, you had better remember this: you are also without excuse, for you too are guilty of the same kind of things! When you judge others, and then do the same things they do, you condemn yourself. So let me ask you this: Why don’t you practice what you preach? You preach, “Don’t steal!” But are you a thief? You are swift to tell others, “Don’t commit adultery!” But are you guilty of adultery? You say, “I hate idolatry and false gods!” But do you withhold from the true God what is due him?”
Romans 2:1, 21-22 TPT
I’m amazed whenever I read the book of wisdom (Proverbs) how Solomon never took the advice he gave his son concerning women. There are more warnings against adulterous and immoral women, and how to avoid them throughout, yet from all accounts, he never followed his own advice.
“King Solomon was obsessed with women. Pharaoh’s daughter was only the first of the many foreign women he loved—Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite. He took them from the surrounding pagan nations of which God had clearly warned Israel, “You must not marry them; they’ll seduce you into infatuations with their gods.” Solomon fell in love with them anyway, refusing to give them up. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines—a thousand women in all! And they did seduce him away from God. As Solomon grew older, his wives beguiled him with their alien gods and he became unfaithful—he didn’t stay true to his God as his father David had done. Solomon took up with Ashtoreth, the whore goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the horrible god of the Ammonites.”
1 Kings 11:1-5 MSG
To be fair to Solomon, I have no idea whether the warnings came before or after his sordid life, but I do think this was written before his wisdom was perverted. Ecclesiastes gives us a view into when things started going south. So let’s assume that these warnings were before. Why didn’t he follow his own advice? They are solid and sound if adhered to. But I’m convinced that God included the chapter above to teach us that good intentions and trusting in self will have devastating consequences if we stray from following the wise counsel of the Lord Himself.
We learn that we may have strong convictions, but without the Holy Spirit, we are unable to keep ourselves.
Let’s take a look at a few verses in Proverbs -good advice for sure, but what’s the point if we don’t follow our own words? As Paul said-It makes us hypocritical. Preachers and teachers who teach one thing and live another, create confusion and dissent among non-believers.
“For your actions seem to fulfill what is written: “God’s precious name is cursed among the nations because of you.”
Romans 2:24 TPT
We’ve got to practice what we preach and teach.
“Listen to me, my son, for I know what I’m talking about. Listen carefully to my advice so that wisdom and discernment will enter your heart, and then the words you speak will express what you’ve learned. Remember this: The lips of a seductress seem sweet like honey, and her smooth words are like music in your ears. But I promise you this: In the end all you’ll be left with is a bitter conscience. For the sting of your sin will pierce your soul like a sword. She will ruin your life, drag you down to death, and lead you straight to hell.”
Proverbs 5:1-5 TPT
“For truth is a bright beam of light shining into every area of your life, instructing and correcting you to discover the ways to godly living. Truth will protect you from immorality and from the promiscuity of another man’s wife. Your heart won’t be enticed by her flatteries or lust over her beauty— nor will her suggestive ways conquer you. Prostitutes reduce a man to poverty, and the adulteress steals your soul— she may even cost you your life!”
Proverbs 6:23-26 TPT
“Stick close to my instruction, my son, and follow all my advice. If you do what I say you will live well. Guard your life with my revelation-truth, for my teaching is as precious as your eyesight. Treasure my instructions, and cherish them within your heart. Say to wisdom, “I love you,” and to understanding, “You’re my sweetheart.” “May the two of you protect me, and may we never be apart!” For they will keep you from the adulteress, with her smooth words meant to seduce your heart.”
Proverbs 7:1-5 TPT
Solomon did not listen to or heed not one word of advice he gave to his son. Are we guilty of the same sin? Are we telling or have we told our children to do one thing and live another? Are we telling the world all the good things about our Lord but living a secret life of doubt, anxiety and unbelief? We can’t deceive God. He sees in secret and rewards in the open. Good advice is as good as the one willing to take it themselves. We know that Solomon’s son didn’t fare well because we read that he sought the counsel of his peers over wisdom. 1 Kings 12. We do harm to ourselves and others whenever we give counsel we ourselves ignore.
In Romans 2 Paul took the Jewish leaders to task because they thought knowing the law and teaching others to keep it got them off the hook. It wasn’t enough for me to raise my daughter to serve the Lord. I had to live and practice what I taught. I’ll never forget a teenager years ago sharing that the parents we know at church weren't the parents she lived with at home. We were questioning her rebellious behavior and praising her parents for what we saw of them. But she had the inside view. That created uncertainty and questions about God that shouldn’t have happened. Solomon with all his wisdom and godly advice, didn’t live it out in front of his son Rehoboam. Are your children victims of your inconsistencies? Children do live what they learn. Do we blame God when things aren’t going our way? Do we only praise Him when things are good? We’re being watched. When what we say doesn’t line up with how we live, that’s a major problem for our children and society as well.
Let us not be like Solomon, offering up advice and counsel, while living contrarily to the words we speak. Be willing to admit when you’ve failed instead of pretending that we’ve got it all together. Now, if we follow what is written in the book of Proverbs, we will live victorious lives. The advice is a solid foundation for sure. But as Solomon learned, only if followed. Don’t dish out what we’re not willing to eat ourselves. It benefits no one. I chose a few verses from Romans 2 but I encourage you to read it all. May our godly advice be worth taking. I’ll close with more advice from king Solomon.
“My child, will you treasure my wisdom? Then, and only then, will you acquire it. And only if you accept my advice and hide it within will you succeed. So train your heart to listen when I speak and open your spirit wide to expand your discernment— then pass it on to your sons and daughters. Yes, cry out for comprehension and intercede for insight. For if you keep seeking it like a man would seek for sterling silver, searching in hidden places for cherished treasure, then you will discover the fear of the Lord and find the true knowledge of God. Wisdom is a gift from a generous God, and every word He speaks is full of revelation and becomes a fountain of understanding within you. For the Lord has a hidden storehouse of wisdom made accessible to His godly ones. He becomes your personal bodyguard as you follow His ways, protecting and guarding you as you choose what is right.”
Proverbs 2:1-8 TPT
We’re good at giving medicine but are we good at taking it? Solomon ends chapter 7 verse 26 this way. “And all who were slain by her (the immoral woman) were strong men. Selah
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
December 8, 2021