I’ve been reading through and teaching from some of the ideas presented in Andy Stanley’s book, The Best Question Ever. I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it…simple, challenging, easy to implement…crazy hard to live out. The question is: What is the wise thing to do? It’s an easy question to ask because I almost always know the answer before I even ask. It’s a terribly frightening question to ask because too often I don’t want to know the answer.
But, before you think that I’d base my teaching on a popular Christian book, the book is grounded in Ephesians 5:15-17 (look it up, read it). What’s been challenging me more than anything is my need to ask for wisdom when I don’t know what to do. In I Kings 3:5-12, Solomon is granted wisdom…oh to have the wisdom that he gained.
5At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Now Solomon was probably a very young man at this point in his life…possibly a teenager! I can’t amagine that question being asked of me. I don’t think I trust my response. But interesting to me, God didn’t say ask whatever you want and I’ll give it to you…he just said, ask away!
7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.
Another version even says, “I don’t know how to go in or out”…Solomon, the King, admitted that he didn’t have a clue what he was doing.
8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
Wow, can I, as a youth pastor admit that I often times don’t have a clue what I’m doing? Aren’t I supposed to know all the answers? Aren’t I supposed to be the “wisdom giver”, the “expert”? I confess, I need wisdom. I can’t do this alone. God, give me wisdom to be an effective Youth Pastor, help me to have discerning heart that I may have something of worth to offer your students.
Hmm, and I didn’t even mention my inadequacies as a parent.