Next up in the 30 More Posts challenge is for me to answer the question: “What is the worst advice you have ever received?” I suppose I will have to search the nooks and crannies of my brain for the worst advice I have ever received, because most advice given to me has been pretty good. (Isn’t “nooks and crannies” such an old-fashioned, curiosity-inducing phrase?)
I think the worst advice ever given to anyone might possibly be this:
- There is always/never a right way and a wrong way to do everything.
This is one of the biggest, baddest, pieces of advice. Dangerous to believe, and even worse to live by. Either extreme of the spectrum places us smack-dab in the middle of self-righteousness.
There are very few always/never statements that anyone should follow without question, and I have learned to be wary of those who live exclusively by this “always/never advice.” They are usually the ones trying to make sure everyone else toes the line, while they look down from their high horse. There is no room for grace, or the uniqueness God built into each one of us.
Call clearly-defined sin what it is, and for the rest, leave it alone. There are many things in life that are morally neutral, in the sense that doing them (or not doing them) will not make you more or less holy than the next person. A better piece of advice to live by, though it isn’t necessarily easier, would be:
“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV)
I think “Always tell the truth” is one, but only if you add “in love” to the end of that. Thoughts?