Time Out: Learning to take advice

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Greed and foolishness aren’t limited to the young, but young people seem to fall into that trap quite regularly. With age and perspective comes wisdom, at least some of the time. However, without that important asset it is easy to let pride and self-centeredness rule. That’s what happened to the man who replaced Solomon as king, his son Rehoboam.

When Rehoboam took the throne the people demanded a remission in the severe financial burden that Solomon had imposed to carry on his building activities. Rehoboam said he’d give them an answer in three days. That was a smart move for there is always time to make a good decision. Forced reactions seldom turn out well. Take time to thoroughly think and pray about important decisions.

During this time Rehoboam talked to his father’s advisers who advised him to give in to the people and lesson the burden so the nation would continue strong and whole. But instead of taking this advice Rehoboam consulted the young men who grew up in the palace with him. They didn’t have the maturity, wisdom or perspective to make a good decision about this, but they were his friends. Perhaps peer pressure had something to do with it, but obviously Rehoboam liked their advise better for it boosted his ego and would increase his wealth. Their advice was to actually increase taxes and show the people who was boss. “Don’t let them tell you what to do, show them you are tougher than your father was. Show them who is the king!” Unfortunately, Rehoboam liked this advice for he took it. The consequence, though, was disastrous. The northern 10 tribes broke away and he was left with Judah and Benjamin. The 12 tribes would never again rejoin to form a united nation. The days of Israel’s glory were over and her decline was swift.

It’s so easy for us today to think we know what is best and not realize pride and/or greed are motivating us. We want to do what impresses our peers and feel we know better than those who are older. Then we later regret our choices. This is true of everyone, from youth pastors to university presidents. Be careful of searching out those who will give you advise you want to hear. Learn to listen to those who disagree with you and would point you in a different direction. If they are wise, godly mature people pay close attention to what they say and don’t dismiss it lightly. Peers are great to enjoy, but outside perspective can offer a lot of good sense. Learn from Rheoboam – take godly advice.

Proverbs 12:5, “The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.”

Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”


  • When was the last time you made a decision you regretted? What made it so bad?
  • Was there greed or self-centeredness involved?
  • Are you aware of the limits of your age and perspective when you make a decision, or do you feel you know better than those you might consult?
  • Who do you go to for advice and guidance? Are they will qualified to direct you?
  • What do you do if you don’t like the suggestions they make?
  • What major decision are you making now? Who are you going to for advice?

Jerry SchmoyerJerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on June 21, 2009

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