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THE ART OF RECEIVING GOOD ADVICE.

THE ART OF RECEIVING GOOD ADVICE.

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Published by glennpease

By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D


1 Samuel xxv. 26-33.

By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D


1 Samuel xxv. 26-33.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 01, 2013
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THE ART OF RECEIVING GOOD ADVICE.By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D
1 Samuel xxv. 26-33.David had been insulted by a man named Nabal,and in his anger had determined to take vengeanceinto his own hands. As he was marching to pun-ish the churlish old rancher he met Abigail, thewife of Nabal, who came to meet him on the wayand reason with him in regard to his proposed ven-geance. She urges upon him that, while his angerat Nabal is certainly justifiable, it is unworthy of aman whom God has ordained to so great a careeras that promised to David to stain his hands withblood in a quarrel with so insignificant and mean aman as Nabal. And she draws a picture of thedays that are to come when all the enemies thatstand against David shall be overthrown, and heshall have come into his kingdom. Then says thiswise woman, in substance : " When you have comeinto your own, and reign in undisputed sway overthe land, how much happier you will be to remem-123trbc art of IReceiving ©ooD nt>vicc* 123ber that in these trying years of adversity you werekind and forbearing, and refused to wreak ven-geance by your own hand."One of the greatest characteristics of David andone of the greatest reasons of his prosperity in lifewas that he was a man who could be advised. Hewas impulsive, and sometimes overcome by tempta-tion, but he was never mulish or stubborn in a badpath. So, instead of gritting his teeth like a fooland going on to his folly whether or no, David lis-tened to what she had to say, and being convincedthat the course marked out by her was the wiser,he frankly admitted it, and said : " Blessed be theLord God of Israel, which sent thee this day tomeet me : and blessed be thy advice, and blessedbe thou, which has kept me this day from comingto shed blood, and from avenging myself with mineown hand."It is a characteristic of great souls that they areeasily advised. The greater the man, the greaterhis willingness to learn : the greater his desire toknow all the facts in the case and to come to a wiseconclusion concerning them. Whenever you see a
 
man who thinks he knows it all, and is too wise tolearn from any one unless it is some one in a higherposition than himself, you may be sure that how-ever great he may be in some ways, you have inthat self-sufficient wisdom an indication of narrow-124 n l^eac'6 pragers/lfteeting tTalks.ness. We should always be read}- aud quick tolearn from any source.It is, however, very important to choose carefullyour advisers ; no one in this world is wise enoughto go alone without advice. Solomon was thewisest man that ever lived, and yet he says, " Withthe well advised is wisdom. " Often when a man isrunning for a great office, people take into accountwho his advisers will be if he comes into the posi-tion. His conduct, it is understood, will largelydepend upon his advisers. The greatest interestis always taken in the choosing of a cabinet by aking or a president, for upon the advice of thesecounselors the conduct of the ruler of the nationwill largely depend. Our individual lives aremuch like that. Every one of us has a cabinet of advisers, tho we may be all unconscious of it.Now the Christian idea of living is that JesusChrist should be the Prime Minister, the Chief Counselor, in every Christian life. One of thenames given to Christ in prophecy was that of Counselor, and we should take him as the counselorand adviser supreme in our daily lives.How simple and straightforward was the advicewhich Jesus gave to some of the people who talkedwith him when he lived in human form here on theearth ! Take his advice about greed and anxietyto lay hold upon everything within reach, and to^be Srt of IRecelving (Boot) B^vlce. 136worry about it when riches did not come rapidly.How he pointed his friends to the growing lilies,with their beauty and their perfume ; to the birdsgathering their food with each morning's bounty.And he said to them, God takes care of these, andcertainly they are not his creatures more than youare. God is more interested in you, his children,than he is in birds and flowers ; go on, then, aboutyour work, seek first to be good and do your duty,and God will take care of these incidental things.No one has ever given such good advice in regard
 
to the great fact that possession is not necessary inorder to get happiness out of the good things of life. Hear Jesus giving advice one day : " A man'slife consisteth not in the abundance of the thingswhich he possesseth." We are always beingtempted to think we can never be happy unless wecan get into our possession whatever charms or at-tracts us; but Christ taught that joy and bless-ing from God's good gifts come to the heart thatis right and true, and the soul that is open to re-ceive, often without possession. You do not needto pluck eyerj flower you see and put it in a vasein order to enjoy it. You ought to be thankfulthat other people take care of the grounds wheresome of the trees spread their shade and some of the flowers bloom whose beauty and fragrance re-fresh your soul day by day. If we can not possess126 S lcar'0 ipra^ers/lReeting ZTalfta.the things that are beautiful and attractive to us,let us thank God that we are able to appreciatethem, and rejoice in the beautj^ that gives us glad-ness. There are people who spoil all the joys of friendship through jealousy about their friends.How much wiser to revel in the sweet gift of Godin our friend, and rejoice that our friend is greatenough to give helpfulness and blessings to othersouls as well as to us. Indeed, Christ's great ad-vice about life is that character and not conditionsmake or unmake our happiness. It is a great les-son, and we need Jesus to walk with us day by day,and impress his divine advice upon our hearts.If we will accept his counsel, Christ will leadus, and inspire and comfort us to the end. Da-vid said to God, " Thou shalt guide me with thycounsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Soif we open our hearts to Christ in friendship, andare sensitive to listen to his advice, he will guideus safely through life's toil and struggle, throughdark days and bright days, to old age and beyondit to the heaven that is to be. The secret of im-mortal youth is to live in this counsel and fellow-ship with Christ who came that we might have life,and have it more abundantly. Whittier, the Christ-loving Quaker poet, when close to the end, in thosedays when he was burning "driftwood," but foundthe fire warm enough to keep his heart young,XLhc Brt of IReceiving (5ooD BDvicc. 127wrote liis last poem to Oliver Wendell Holmes, inwhich he said :

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