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Do any of you read Dear Abby? Or maybe Ask Ann Landers? I read these every morning, but not because I like to get some voyeuristic pleasure from sharing other’s problems with their lives. I see it as a thermometer, measuring the degree to which people in our society have no guidance, mostly regarding interpersonal relationships.
Often I get inspiration from the multitude of personal issues people present publically to a total stranger. I am always thinking of one of my favorite verses from the Tanakh, Hosea 4:6:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
The knowledge they lack is the knowledge of God, the knowledge that comes from reading His Word every day, the understanding of the human condition that we see exemplified through the stories in the Bible. This is important stuff!
I feel saddened and frustrated when I read the almost inane situations people get themselves into; and then, as if they haven’t hurt themselves enough already, they go to Ann or Abby for help. For the record? I’ve got nothing against Ann or Abby. I think, overall, they do a wonderful job. And even though I wish they had more spiritual answers, they are usually spot on with their advice.
However, I can’t help thinking that if the people who write these letters stopped asking humans and went to God for help, they would find that God has the best answers. All the time.
So, nu? What can we do? We can make ourselves available to our own family and friends, to let them know that we have the same problems in our life but we also have the best answers, Then show them where the answers to their problems are found in the Bible. When we relate our own story, not forcing it on anyone but just using it as an example of what worked for us, we can lead them to a better answer, a greener pasture.
And we should be prepared to be rejected and (maybe even) laughed at. That goes along with the territory and is part of the job when you live your life to help others.
Life is tough; there are many times we get ourselves into a situation we don’t want to be in. And when we are there, we cannot fathom how to get out of it.
That’s when we need to go to God. As we read in Matthew 19:26:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Be a good shepherd to your family and friends and lead them to the answers they really need, which are always found in the Bible.