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Carefully Listen to Both Sides

2 Chronicles 10:8-9

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But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?”

2 Chronicles 10:8-9 NIV

When King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was in line to succeed him. The nation gathered to crown him, but before they did, they asked him to lighten the heavy load his father had placed on them. Rehoboam asked for advice from his father’s advisors, who advised him to answer favorably and lighten their load. Rehoboam then asked the young men he had grown up with. And their advice was to respond harshly, making their load even heavier.

The young men Rehoboam consulted are described as having grown up with him and were currently serving him. They shared a similar outlook on life and on ruling a kingdom. So, their advice likely did little more than reinforce what Rehoboam was already inclined to do.

Rehoboam opted to go with the advice of his friends rather than the elders. And it cost him most of the kingdom. Ten of the twelve tribes rebelled against him and crowned Jeroboam instead.

Rehoboam’s mistake is one we often make today. We tend to accept what we read or hear more readily when we agree with it. And to discount or ignore what we disagree with. When we do that, it simply reinforces previously held beliefs or opinions.

A better approach is to carefully listen to both sides, prayerfully and with an open mind. Explore the other side of a doctrinal issue, not to try and disprove it, but to understand it. Look critically at both sides of the political and social issues we encounter. Listen with an open mind to both sides of the story.

Doing so may not change your mind, but at the very least, you will have developed a better understanding of the various positions. Of course, there is always the danger that you might find your views changing. Horrors!

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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