July 01, 2015

Jethro and Moses: Sharing Advice

Exodus 18:13-27

“I will give you some advice, and may God be with you...Appoint...officials...[to] serve as judges for the people...That will make your load lighter.”

—  Exodus 18:19-22

Jethro cared about his daughter’s family. His son-in-law Moses had a big job but was burning his candle at both ends. In compassion, Jethro offered Moses advice to help him work in a healthier way: “What you are doing is not good. . . . The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”

Jethro offered his wisdom to Moses in love. He wanted to help Moses avoid the burnout of trying to do all the leadership himself.

Moses, thankfully, had a teachable spirit. He could have ­ignored his father-in-law’s wisdom and continued down the path toward exhaustion, but Moses chose instead to follow Jethro’s advice. He could have received this as criticism of his work, but instead Moses heard it as a gift from a wise mentor.

Sometimes we become irritated when people offer unsolicited advice. “Who are they to tell me what to do?” But God calls us to care about the people around us. Sometimes caring means shar­ing our wisdom, and other times it means being willing to be taught. The Spirit knits the church together for our benefit and for God’s glory. We can benefit from the godly wisdom of our brothers and sisters if we keep a teachable spirit.

Lord, melt our stubborn hearts so that we can receive the advice of godly mentors who seek to care for us. Give us the courage to speak your Word lovingly into the lives of the people we love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.k

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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