Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. 1 John 4:16 AMP
4 We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ. 5 It is not that we are competent in[a] ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
A good way to lose friends is to give unsolicited advice. We all want to share great things, great deals, and ideas with others. As friends we have a sense of love for our friends and we want to “help”. But, there are certain areas the best of friends should leave alone. Here are just a few.
1. Unsolicited advice on marriage! If you have a friend that is going through a rough patch and they ask you to pray for help, then it is common sense they have opened this area up to you and it is okay to give advice lovingly and prayerfully!! BUT, if your friend has not asked and the Holy Spirit has not told you do to so, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! Today, I received a phone call from a dear friend. I know she meant well, BUT she gave some advice on my marriage (which doesn’t even have problems) that was in direct opposition to something the Holy Spirit had told my husband and me. Was this from God? No! If it had been, she would not have told me the opposite of what God had said do. She spoke from her mind and from what SHE does in HER marriage and not from the Spirit. Remember, your husband is not my husband. What works in your marriage is not necessarily what is good for mine. Personalities get involved and what works for one, will grate on another. WE NEED TO MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS!!! The Bible even says men are to look to their OWN wives, not the wives of everyone else!
2. Unsolicited health advice. Don’t tell someone else what their diet should or should not be. Let’s face it, we all know what we should do and that is the very reason why we shouldn’t remind someone. They know! If you need to eat healthier, you know it. If you need to lose weight, I don’t have to tell you, you know it! If someone asks you, then again, you have an open door to help. If someone says, “You look great, what are you doing?” tell them! But if you are not broached in this area, be still. When that person is ready, they will do what they need to do. In the meantime, you will only be offensive to them or they will be offensive to you and the relationship will be in jeopardy! Yesterday, I had a lady write me and tell me how much she liked me and began to tell me about certain things she was eating to pull her cholesterol down. She then began to tell me, in essence, she was worried about my health and wanted me to be well because she liked me. I have never met this lady or seen her in my life! Now this precious lady meant well! I began to wonder why on earth she was worried about my health? I go to the doctor every six months for cholesterol checks and just a good check up in general. I have been told I have the heart of a 20 something year old woman and I am 52 years old. My blood work is excellent in every respect! What was going on? It just so happened I was contacted by a recipe site to be a contributor and they needed several recipes. One of the recipe genres that was popular over the weekend was desserts for July 4. I submitted several. I can only guess this lady thinks I have a sweet tooth that just will not quit and we all know sugar is not organic (or I don’t think it is), therefore she thought I was a walking time bomb!! Again, this person was speaking from her mind not the Spirit!
3. Unsolicited advice on raising children! Oh, this is a huge one!! Nothing sours a relationship faster than when you pit your child and their behavior, achievements, talents, or development against your soon to be gone friends! No mother is going to stand for this long! I had a friend whose son was just a few months younger than my son. This child never got to be a kid. When he was 18 months old, she was having formal nursery school for him at their home because she wanted his develepment to be above the other children he would be in school with due to her own insecurities. One day, when our boys were about 3 years old, I received a phone call from her. Her first words were exactly these, “Oh, I just asked Johnny (fake name) what he wanted to be when he grew up and he wants to be a doctorrrrrr (the last word was drawn out and said in an almost euphoric tone as though this was almost something to be worshiped!). This had gone on for some time and I had, had quite enough of it. I decided to turn to the Rev. and ask him what he wanted to be. I wanted her to know her son was no smarter, better, or creative than mine! I held the phone from my ear so she could hear his response to the upcoming question! I said, “Sugar, what do you want to be when you grow up?” He paused for a few moments, turning his head to the side and pondered the question deeply! I had her this time!! Suddenly, he puts his finger in the air and literally exclaims, “I know!!! I WANT TO BE SWAMP THANG!!” Yes, folks he said “thang” not “thing”! Mortified I told my “friend” I would call her back. I turned to the three-year old Rev. and began to lecture him on “giving back to the community, making our goals in life to help others, and to make sure we can provide for our family” and then I caught myself. The Rev. was three years old! He was a little boy and I allowed the competitive spirit of this mother who pushed her child unmercifully out of her own insecurities to do the same thing in my home with my baby! I took the Rev. away from his happy play time to lecture him on something he was not at the age to even understand! He wasn’t going to college the next year, for goodness sake!! She had hounded me and hounded me on what I SHOULD DO as a mother, which was what she was doing, and I needed to be letting the Holy Spirit tell me what to do. I wouldn’t have been so uptight and I wouldn’t have fallen into the sin of comparison if I had!! Needless to say, I never called back. Her attitude was destructive to a healthy relationship between us and our children! Guard your family!
I am concerned because I am seeing in the body of Christ more and more being swept away into fear mongering! People are almost hungry for it. I hear phrases like THE END IS NEAR!! THE GOVERNMENT IS OUT TO GET YOU! TAKE THIS, SWALLOW THAT OR YOU WON’T LIVE AS LONG!! Yes, we should be wise, but at the same time did you bless it (I am talking normal food, not junk)? Did you sanctify it before you ate it? Were you aware it was dangerous? We have put so much emphasis on what the latest literature says, and what so-called news medias and outlets have said we have almost counted God and His protective, preserving and keeping power out of the situations in life! Yes, the world has become a bad place, with bad things going on in it, BUT GOD IS STILL WATCHING OUT FOR US!! Do you read social media, news stories, blogs, etc. more than you do the Bible? If you do, you have the start of a serious problem!! Do what you know to be right, and for the rest shake off the serpent of fear and live in the liberty of GOD’S truth which assures protection, peace, joy, and good health no matter what environment you find yourself in!
Blessings to you, dear reader! Today, my goal is to mind my own business and leave others to God! When we do this, and when God’s timing comes to speak, people will listen! Just let us make sure it is what God wants said and not what seems good to us! I will see you soon! Simply, Juliana