Andy Stanley - Listen
You may be familiar or maybe not, but maybe familiar with this phrase, genetic fallacy. Genetic fallacy, it's also known as the fallacy of origins or some people refer to it as the fallacy of virtue. I've never really heard of that one before. But genetic fallacies is usually how you hear about it and if you remember back from school what a fallacy is. A fallacy is an error in reasoning, something that doesn't make any sense, it's an error in reasoning.
For example, here's a famous one, dogs have four legs, my cat has four legs, my cat is a dog. No, so how about this one? Bill lives in an enormous apartment complex, Bill must have an enormous apartment. Yeah, okay, those are fallacies. You see that? Yeah, there's something about that that doesn't make sense. Well, the genetic fallacy is a fallacy but it's a different kind of fallacy. This is a fallacy that discounts, when somebody discounts the reliability of information based on the source rather than the merits of the information.
Let me say that again. The genetic fallacy is when you discount the reliability of information, somebody gives you advice or somebody gives you information and you discount it based on the source rather than the merits of the information. So for example, if I came in here today and said, "Hey, this morning I saw a report on CNN that", about half of you would be like, "CNN, uh-uh". But if I got up here and said, "hey, this morning I saw a report on Fox News that", the other half of you would be like, "Fox News, uh-uh". But before I even got to the information, you already suspected the information because of the source or maybe you're more in this camp.
If somebody walked up to you this week and said my preacher said, you'd be like, what could your preacher possibly know that could help me? So it's easy to discount information based on the source of the information rather than the merits of the information. But you know this. Advice in particular should be judged on its merits not on its source, oftentimes. Advice especially any information, but especially advice should be judged on the merits of the advice not the source. If not, if you fall for the genetic fallacy, which so many people do, you might become your own worst enemy. Your own worst enemy.
This is as you may know this is part three of the series. We're wrapping this series today, How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy. And we've all been our own worst enemy and we can all laugh about some of the events in our lives where we were our own worst enemy. I told you about my college experience, maybe your college experience was similar. And those are things we can laugh about but we've also seen people do it up big. You've seen someone undermine a marriage and became their own worst enemy, that became their own worst enemy financially, became their own worst enemy academically, became their own worst enemy professionally.
And you saw this playing out and you just thought to yourself, stop, just stop. You are doing this to yourself. You could see the results before the end got there. And when you see somebody do it up big like really blow up their whole life and maybe you are that person and you can't believe I'm talking about this today. Or maybe you're in the middle of it. But maybe you're on the front end of it. And if you're on the front end of it, I can't tell you how grateful I am that you're here today and that you're listening or that you're watching. But when you see somebody do it up big, you think exactly what I think.
You think, "I would never do that. I just would never do that". And maybe you won't and hopefully you won't, but here's what we've said every week. You have the potential to do it up big. You have the potential to become your own worst enemy and the reason we know that's true is because you have participated in all of your bad decisions. You were there for all of them as we said the first week. You were the mastermind behind some of your worst decisions.
And the reason that's a big deal is a single bad decision, a single bad decision is always the first step toward becoming your own worst enemy. Every habit, every bad habit, has a first time. Every pattern has a first line. Every journey has a first step. So in this series, we're talking about three preemptive habits that if you'll develop these habits, you will set yourself up not to ever be your own worst enemy in a small way, laughable ways, or in a big way.
Now a question that you might ask, maybe you haven't asked, but I sorta wonder is people would ask during the series, "Why are we talking about this in church, right"? This sounds like a TED Talk, this sounds like something you would just hear in a classroom or a business seminar or just counseling, but the reason we're talking about this in church is that this whole idea of not becoming your own worst enemy, it's really not even about you because you know this. Maybe you know this from the family you grew up in, when you become your own worst enemy, you're not the only person that's hurt, right?
If you blow up your finances, if you blow up your life, you're not the only person impacted. The shrapnel of you blowing up your life impacts the people closest to you. It impacts the people in your future. It impacts the people that depend on you. It impacts the people that love you. So this is a really, really big deal, not just because you're a really big deal and, you're a really big deal, at least you think so, right? I think I'm a pretty big deal, but this isn't even about us. This is primarily about what it means simply as we'll see at the end to follow Jesus because if you are a Jesus follower, you are responsible for how your behavior impacts other people.
So this isn't just about you getting your life right. This is about you keeping your influence in-tact. This is about keeping your reputation in tact. This is about you living life in such a way that people would be drawn to your life so that you can point them to the source of life in you. In fact, if you're in here for the first time or maybe you're not a church person, or not a religious person, chances are you're here, or you're watching, or you're listening because of the influence of another Christian, of another Jesus follower, and imagine how much less influence they would have over you if they had just blown up their life or become their own worst enemy in some capacity.
So this is really a big deal. This isn't just TED Talk. This really is central to what it means to follow Jesus because at the end of the day how we live our lives is not just about us. We'll talk a little bit more about that in the end. So anyway I gave you these two preemptive habits. We're gonna look at the third one today, but just a quick review. Preemptive habit number one to keep you from becoming your first own worst enemy is pay attention to the tension, pay attention to the tension.
One more time I would love for all of us to read this out loud, even if you're watching and you're sitting by yourself or driving, ready? Pay attention to the tension. When you are considering an option, an invitation, any decision, and there's something on the inside of you that is like, "I don't know about that", pay attention to that tension. If something about the decision dings your conscience, it doesn't seem wrong to anybody else but it bothers you, let it bother you and don't start, as we said the first week, don't start selling yourself on it. Don't start trying to convince yourself.
We rarely have to sell ourselves on a really good idea, and then last time we were together we talked about preemptive habit number two and that was pay attention to your narratives, pay attention to what you say to yourself, pay attention to how you frame things, how you frame decisions, how you frame relationships, how you frame experiences in life because our internal narratives can be helpful but they can be harmful. Our internal narratives actually have the potential to set us up to repeat the past, repeat our failures, and become our own worst enemies.
Now if you did not hear last week's message when we talked about this, I don't do this all the time, but what we talked about last week is so important because it's so subtle and it's not something we hear a lot about. I would highly recommend you get your local church app. If you're here with me at Bucket, just get the Bucket church app and last week's message is on there for free or you can go to my YouTube channel. What we talked about last week is so foundational to living life in a positive way and it is so foundational for those of us who consider ourselves Jesus followers.
So today preemptive habit number two, how not to become your own worst enemy and it's simply this, pay attention to the voices of wisdom around you, pay attention to the voices of wisdom around you. Here's what you know about your experience and here's what you know about the experience of people you watch blow up their life. Most people, in fact I would argue all, but let's just be conservative, most people who become their own worst enemy were warned, weren't they?
You were, somebody in your life said, "I don't know about her, I don't know about him, I don't know about that, I don't know about that job, I don't know about that investment, I don't know about", and somebody tried to warn you that most people who become their own worst enemy, somebody tried to warn them but they wouldn't listen because, this is so important, our worst decisions, no one miss this, our worst decisions, and by worst decisions I mean those decisions that are tipping points. Those decisions that are points of no return. Those decisions that if we could go back to that one moment and undecide, redecide, just decide differently, those big moments. If only I could go back to that moment.
Our worst decisions are always, always, always preceded by a series of unwise decisions. That you made a series of unwise decisions that led you the point where you made the big one. This is almost almost always the case when it comes to people who blow up their lives or people who become their own worst enemy. So the idea or rather the habit of listening to the wise voices around us is so extraordinarily important because if you're in the middle of making a decision right now, here's what I can guarantee you, somebody is feeling the tension that you're ignoring, somebody's feeling the tension you're ignoring.
There's somebody around you who is not distracted by your internal narratives, those things that you constantly tell yourself they're not distracted by those things because they're not aware of those things. There's somebody around you that's connecting some dots that maybe you're not connecting and possibly they're trying to say something to you, but because of your internal narrative, because you've already made up your mind, it's almost impossible for you to listen.
So paying attention to the voices of wisdom around us in extraordinarily, extraordinarily important habit and the thing is you already know that, that's not something you haven't heard before, but for whatever reasons it's difficult for us. So what I thought I'd do today because again, this isn't new news or new information, I want to read to you a story that comes out of the Hebrew scripture or Christian's call it the Old Testament that I'm hoping will soften your resistance to maybe something you already heard, that will soften your resistance to something you've already heard, but are having a hard time hearing.
And this particular story is not one of the more familiar stories from the Old Testament, it's found in 1 Kings Chapter 12 and this particular narrative revolves around Israel's fourth king. Ancient Israel had a series of kings, for context here's Israel's kings, you'll remember maybe from Sunday school or if you grew up in church, King Saul, perhaps all of you have heard King David, and then following King David was David's son Solomon, considered the wisest man who ever lived and the assumption was that after Solomon died his son Rehoboam would then take the throne of Israel.
Now to fully understand the story there's one other character I have to introduce you to, his name is Jeroboam, and who is Jeroboam? I'm so glad you asked and here's where the story begins. Now Jeroboam, not Rehoboam, Jeroboam was a man of standing, that is people thought this guy had it going on, he was an extraordinary leader, he was well-known in the community and when Solomon, when King Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force which was a big, big deal. This is like becoming part of the cabinet in our way of thinking. He got elevated to extraordinary influence in the kingdom of Israel because he was put in charge of forced labor.
Solomon by this season in his life was building so many buildings and so many monuments to himself that he had, get this, over 150,000, 150,000 stone cutters and stone transporters that just about the entire male, available population in that area of the world worked for King Solomon and it wasn't paid labor as much as it felt like forced labor because he was doing these massive building projects. So Jeroboam is in charge of this extraordinarily important and big project, and one day he's leaving the city of Jerusalem and something very odd happens.
About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem and Ahijah, the prophet of Shiloh met him. So he's leaving Jerusalem and this profit walks up, and whenever a prophet walks up you know something strange is about to happen. Well, this was really strange. The prophet walks up to Jeroboam and takes off his coat, the prophet takes off his own coat and then he rips it apart, begins ripping up his coat and he rips his coat into 12 pieces, and then he hands 10 pieces of his own coat to Jeroboam, and then he says this, this is what the Lord, God says to you. "I am going, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and I'm gonna give you 10 of the tribes".
As you maybe remember, Israel was made up of 12 tribes and this prophet says that Solomon, the king, is gonna lose 10 of 'em, and Jeroboam, you are going to be king of 10 tribes of Israel, and why? Well, and this may be hard for you to take depending on how you grew up in church, but by this time in history, King Solomon had become a pagan king. I said he was a pagan king because he worshiped multiple gods and that's the definition of a pagan, someone who worships multiple gods. He had become a pagan king. He worshiped all the gods of all his wives and he had a boat load, he had a train load, he had so many wives they were numbered, he couldn't even remember their names because he married everybody famous' daughter from all the surrounding kingdoms to create peace treaties, but consequently he began to worship their gods as well, and he was building them temples and places of worship all over Judea which was absolutely against what God had told Israel to do.
So by this time he has abandoned basically his faith and consequently King Solomon is treating his subjects like all the pagan kings treated their subjects, he treated them like slaves. So this prophet says God's fed up with that and when King Solomon dies the kingdom's gonna be divided. Jeroboam, you're gonna get 10 of the tribes, but God says, "I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand", and then he goes on to say this, God says, "I made a covenant with David and I'm gonna keep my end of the deal, but David's lineage is not gonna have the whole kingdom just two out of the 12 tribes".
Well, apparently this was so weird to Jeroboam that he didn't keep his mouth shut and he began to talk to people saying, "I met this crazy prophet, he tore his coat up, he gave me 10". This is just weird and word got back to Solomon, word got back to Solomon that Jeroboam, it had been prophesied over him that he was going to be a king in Israel. So Solomon did what ancient kings do when they realize that their dynasty is threatened. Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam found out about it and he fled to Egypt and he stayed there until Solomon finally died.
Now this is where the story gets really practical and really interesting, but first of all, any questions so far? Are you following this? All the oams, everybody's got an oam, okay? Here we go, so Solomon dies, the assumption is that Rehoboam is gonna be coronated the king, he's gonna take his father's place without any challengers. So this is where the story picks up. So Rehoboam, Solomon's son, went to Shechem, a city north of Jerusalem where there's actually the original capital of ancient Israel. For all the Israel had gone there to make him king. This is the best day of his life.
When Jeroboam who Solomon raised up and then headed of for Egypt, when Jeroboam heard this, when he heard that Solomon was dead, he though, "Oh, it's safe for me to come back home because the king is dead". When Jeroboam heard this, he was still in Egypt where he had fled to King Solomon, he returned from Egypt and so they, they being the assembly that represents the people, so they sent for Jeroboam.
So the representatives of the people sent for Jeroboam because he was still an outstanding leader and you had to respect the people, and he and the whole assembly that represented the nation of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him, so Rehoboam's about to be the king and so the assembly that represents the people says, future king or maybe they had already coronated him by this time as king, they said, "Hey, we have a request". And he said, "What is your request"?
And they're representing all the people and here was the request. Your father Solomon put a heavy, heavy yoke on us. Your father was like all the other kings. He treated us like slaves, but now we want you to do something different, but now we want you to lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke that he put on us, and if you do, Rehoboam, we will serve you willingly, we will serve you, but you've gotta stop with all the non-stop construction, you gotta stop with all the taxes, you gotta stop from taking all the men out of our cities and sending them off to these foreign places to cut stone and drag them to build these monuments to your father. We will serve you willingly.
Well, at this point, Rehoboam makes two really, really good decisions. The first one is this, so Rehoboam said, answered, "Go away for three days and then come back", and so the people went away. So this was a good decision. He said, "Let me think about this, good idea", and then he, Rehoboam made another good decision, then King Rehoboam consulted the elder, the old guys, the elders who had served his father, Solomon during his lifetime, another really good decision. These guys are older, they're wiser, they have perspective and they knew some things that Solomon didn't know, and they knew some things that Rehoboam would never know.
Now for those of you who lead an organization or lead a department, or maybe you're an entrepreneur, you have several companies, or you run a franchise, you know this, I know this as a leader, there's things you never know as a leader. There's always, yickity yak and people have conversations and opinions and you almost never get that information, and it's always important to have people who will be honest with you because information doesn't usually flow up unfiltered in an organization, and it certainly didn't in a kingdom.
So this was a good idea because these men who had advised Solomon, they knew the real deal, they knew what Solomon didn't know, and they knew what Rehoboam would never know as king. So these were good men to go to for advice and he asked them, he said, "How would you advise me to answer these people"? He asked, and here's what the old guys said, they said, "If today you will be a servant to these people and if you will serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants".
Do you wanna be a king of a united kingdom? Then here's how, you put their interest ahead of your own, you put their interest ahead of your own, very wise counsel, very good leadership instruction, these guys knew but here's what Rehoboam thought. Rehoboam thought maybe we would be tempted to think, "What do a bunch of old men know? What do a bunch of old men know"? They've already lived their lives, they've already had their time, they've already had their time in the sun, they've already had their influence, they don't understand. I'm a young man with my whole life ahead of me, with a legacy to build, what could they possibly know?
And he discounted their good advice because of where that advice came from, but Rehoboam rejected the advice that the elders gave him. It was what he needed to hear, but it was not what he wanted to do, but it was the only way, and this is where we need to dial in individually, it was the only way to get to where he wanted to be. Did you know there are people perhaps in and around you that have the advise you need to get you where you want to be and you're discounting their advise because of who they are, they haven't walked in your footsteps, they've never run a business, they've never been a parent, they're only 18 years old, they've never been where you are, they've never gone through a divorce, they've never been in a second marriage, they've never tried to blend a family, they've never moved out of town to the big city, and you have 1,000 reasons to discount their advice.
There perhaps is somebody around you who has advice that will help you get to where you want to be. In this case, for Rehoboam it was the united kingdom, but he didn't wanna listen. So you know what he did? He did what we do. He found some folks who would tell him what he wanted to hear. He found some folks who would tell him what he wanted to hear. Let me tell you how to become your own worst enemy. Surround yourself with people who will tell you what you want to hear.
If you want to become your own worst enemy, if you wanna blow up your family, if you wanna blow up your finances, if you wanna blow up your future it's very simple, you just surround yourself with people, in fact add it later, we'll get to it in just a minute, surround yourself with people who need you and work for you, and will only tell you what you want to hear. You'll lose influence, you'll lose opportunity, you'll lose respect, you'll lose resources, this is how you end up where you don't want to be.
So let me just ask you this question real quick, kinda lob a question in and we'll keep going with the story, and this isn't for all of us, but this may be the point in the message where you think somebody emailed Andy and told him my story, okay? They didn't. Whose advices are you currently ignoring? It may be bad advice. You may need to ignore it, but just for a moment. Whose advice are you currently ignoring? And then here's the real kicker, here's what makes this question powerful, what is that internal, if you were here last time, what is that internal narrative you're using to reinforce your resistance to their advice? Because when you pay attention to that narrative, it is gonna be an indicator as to whether or not you are resisting good advice or bad advice, and if there's something in you that says what could they possibly know about, then you need to hit pause because you are about to become a victim of a fallacy.
When my boys were growing up, very, very young they expressed interest in baseball and I wanted to be involved in their life so I became a baseball coach and I coached them from when I was pitching to when they were pitching so hard I was afraid to catch it. I went with them all the way up through high school and through the years, parents would come to me because I coached every year, year round baseball, parents would say to me all the time, "Andy, where did you play baseball"? And I would say, "In the backyard". And they would say, "Did you play high school baseball"? No, "Did you play"? No, no, no, so I never played on a baseball team.
I was a really, really good coach, not because I had any credentials or any experience, or anything to show for it. I was just good at teaching kids to do things that I wouldn't even try honestly. I was good at teaching, that's kinda what I do as a pastor. I try to get you to do things like, "I'm too scared to do that, but you, knock yourself out, you can do it, you can do it". I'm not doing it, but you can do it, right? This is just something that I'm good at helping people figure stuff out, even stuff I've never done.
I have zero credentials, but I was a pretty good baseball coach and I never had any parents say, "Well, you know what, my kid isn't gonna be on your team if you've never played baseball". That would have been foolish, I think, but in so many arenas of our life, this is how we think and there's a time to be cautious about that. All I'm saying today because of the story is be careful that you don't discount good information or more in particular that you don't discount powerful, personal, important advice because of the source of the advice.
Back to the story, but Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and he consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. Young men who had no more life experience than he did. Young men who had no more insight than he did. Young men who worked for him, and again, as I said earlier, when the only people who have access to you are people who need you or people who want something from you, you are in a dangerous place and that's why we all have to be so proactive to bring people into our sphere of influence and give them opportunity to influence us from the outside because as life goes on and as you're more successful, more and more you will naturally be surrounded by people who need you or want something from you, and in this case Rehoboam chose the men who needed him and wanted something from them, and so he asked them, "What's your advice"?
How should we answer these people who say to me, "Lighten the yoke your father put on us"? Because, come on, we can always find somebody who's gonna tell us what we wanna hear, right? We're gonna always be able to find people who will tell us what we wanna hear so we can do what we wanna do and here's the challenge, and if I could just grab some of you by the shoulders and look in your eyes, I would say, "Look, the problem with always doing what you wanna do is you eventually arrive at precisely where you don't wanna be".
If you only do what you wanna do you'll eventually arrive precisely at the place in your marriage, with your finances, with your profession, academically, spiritually, relationally, influence, you will arrive exactly, precisely where you don't wanna be. You become your own worst enemy which is exactly as we're gonna see what happened to Rehoboam. In fact, the interesting things is this, if you've never heard this story before and you had to guess how this turns out, nobody listening would say I bet this turns out great for Rehoboam. I can see where this is going.
This is gonna be amazing. He rejected the advice from people older than him, wiser than him that had been there and done that, and he surrounded himself with people on the payroll. I bet this turns out great. So you already know better. In fact, when you look at some of your friends and family members, you know how that story's going. The challenge for you today, for me, is to look in the mirror and ask ourselves a question, "Have we fallen into this rut"? A rut that's not really taking its toll now the way it will later. So the young men who had grown up with him replied, "These people have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'".
Now there's what we think you should go back and tell them. Now you tell them, "My little finger is thicker than my father's waist". So Solomon was a big guy, but in that culture, being big was a sign of health and wealth because most people lived on the verge of starvation. So if you met a really overweight person, it's like that person is clearly healthy and they're wealthy, and so apparently Solomon was really healthy and we know he was really wealthy, and they said, "Hey, do you think my father's waist was big? My little finger is bigger than my father's waist".
In other words you ain't seen nothing yet and they said, "Here's what you need to tell those folks". "My father laid on you a heavy yoke. I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips. I will scourge you with scorpions". A scorpion was a type of whip, but it was the type of whip you used to punish a criminal, not whip a slave. In other words, the message was gonna be this, "My father treated you like slaves. I'm gonna treat you like criminals".
Well, young guy, it goes to his head, they're all together, all this adrenaline is like, "Yeah, we're gonna tell him". So sure enough he goes back, three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehobaom, and Jeroboam's there. He's already risen up as the spokesperson, the leader. And the king answered the people harshly, rejecting the advice given him by the elders. And the moment he rejected their advice, and the moment he announced what I'm about to read that he announced, his fate was sealed and so was the fate of the nation because a series of unwise decisions would lead to a catastrophic decision that would impact tens of thousands of people.
Here's what he said. He repeated what the young man told him. You've come to me, you wanna know what my answer is. Here's my answer. "My father made your yoke heavy. I'm gonna make it heavier. My father scourged you with whips. I will scourge you with scorpions". And when all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king. Now here's something kinda cool. Jeroboam apparently said to the folks, "Look, he's not gonna take your advice. He's not gonna like the load". So they actually showed up with a prepared statement. And this statement we know was a quote from a document that a rebel back in David's time had prepared when he rebelled against David, and this was a document that had floated around.
So this was a well-known script. So they read this older script to remind the king, hey, this is a big deal, this isn't just a handful of us, we speak for the nation. And here's what they said. They said, "What share do we have in David, what pat in Jesse's son? Jesse was David's father. To your tents, Israel. Look after your own house, David". Talking to David's relative, Rehoboam. To your tents, Israel. Look after your own house. In other words this was their way of saying "I don't wanna be too rude". They were saying, "Look, go build your own blankity blank cities and palaces". Hey, we don't recognize your right to rule, go rule yourself. That was the strength of this message.
So the Israelites threw up their hands and said, "You're not gonna be our king". The text says they went home, but as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, the two tribes, Rehoboam still ruled over them. And then Rehoboam doesn't believe this has even happened. He doesn't even believe this is real. He goes home, thinks out loud, he tells his advisors just give him a few days, just give him a few weeks, it's all gonna work out, this kingdom isn't gonna split up.
So then King Rehoboam made another terrible decision. He sent out Adoniram who was in charge of forced labor, but all of Israel stoned him to death. We're not working for you. You didn't listen to us. You had an opportunity to rule a united kingdom for as long as you live, but it had to be all about you and you wouldn't listen to the wise counsel. He goes, "What do a bunch of old men know"? And so the author says, "So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day". 10 tribes of Israel in rebellion to the house of David and the kingdom never came back together. It was divided and when it was divided it was weakened. And when it was weakened it became vulnerable. And when it became vulnerable it became invadable. Just like me, just like you.
When we refuse to pay attention to the voices of wisdom around us. So you've heard this before. You know this. You've given this advice, but I'm just throwing it back at you. Find someone, find someone who has nothing to gain and nothing to lose by telling you the truth. Find someone who has nothing to gain and nothing to lose by telling you the truth, and you simply ask them, "What would you do if you were in my shoes"? I know you've never walked in my shoes. I know you've never had a company. I know you haven't even been married before. I know, I know, I know, but you seem like a wise person, what would you do if you were in my shoes?
It's so simple. You don't have to sell yourself on this idea. You know this is the right approach. The question is, this is what I ask myself, is "why don't we and why won't we"? And there's several reasons. For one, in many instances we already know what they're gonna say, don't we? If you already know what somebody's gonna say when you ask them, you know what to do do, don't you? If you already know what a wise person's gonna say when you ask them, then you already know what to do so just do it. And if you're not willing to do it, ask.
The other reason, and I think this is all of us is sometimes we just don't think it's anybody's business, it's nobody else's business. And please don't miss this. It may not be any of their business. You are inviting them into your business and here's why you need to do that. Because private decisions have public consequences. Private decisions have public consequences. Private decisions don't stay private, do they? Private decisions don't stay private.
Many years ago when I was just out of college and I bumped into an issue in my life and I needed to invite some people in and I remember being so embarrassed about talking about what I needed to talk about. And one day it dawned on me, Andy, this little itty bitty baby dragon, it could grow up to be a big ol' momma or daddy dragon and devour your whole life. And if it becomes a big dragon and devours your whole life, everybody's gonna know about it anyway, the people who like you and the people who don't like you. The people you love and the people you don't love.
So why not take a risk and invite some people who care about you in now to deal with it while it's small so it doesn't become big. And of course it's embarrassing, but private decisions and private issues, and private habits don't stay private. So, no, it's nobody else's business. Wise people make it somebody else's business for the sake of their future, but more importantly for the sake of the future of the people you love, the people around you. And then guys, if I could just say something to you, I think one of the reasons we don't do this, you already know the answer or what I'm gonna say, it's just our ego. It's because success is intoxicating.
And look, just to burst your bubble, success doesn't mean you're smart. And success doesn't make us smarter. In fact, success often makes us more careless. It makes us clueless. I've heard men say, not exactly these words, but through the years. Well, Andy, you try to get a guy to go to parenting seminar, you try to get a man to read a book about being a father, "No, I'm not gonna do that", why? Well, I was a kid once. I know how to raise one. Hey, I had a surgery once. Would you let me do surgery on you? I don't think so and I wouldn't let you do it. It doesn't make any sense.
Somebody can see what you can't see. Somebody is connecting dots you're not connecting. There's somebody perhaps close to you that is not distracted by your internal narrative because they have a different narrative. They can see what you can't see and you lose if you don't know what they already know. So I wanna challenge you to make a commitment, even if it's just for a month or maybe even just for a week, but this is a habit that will serve you well. And each of these messages, I've asked you to make a specific commitment related to the message. And the commitment related to this one is simply this, would you commit I will not automatically discount advice based on the source of the advice. I'm telling you this will serve you well for the rest of your life. I will not automatically discount advice based on the source of the advice.
Now obviously there's advice we should all discount, but that reaction, that quick reaction when how could they know? What do they know? They're too old, they're too young. It's a guy, how could a guy possibly, it's a woman, how could a woman possibly, it's somebody that doesn't understand. They've never lived in the South. They've never run a company like this. They've never worked. We immediately discount advice. Would you just decide, "For me I'm not doing that". I will not automatically discount advice based on the source of the advice.
And when you make this commitment you begin to further the habit of paying attention to the voices of wisdom around you. Because, and you know this already, wise voices set you up for wise choices. And why is this a big deal? Because every single person that's blowing up their life, every single person that's become their own worst enemy, that final decision, that one moment in time they wish they could go back and undo was preceded by a series of unwise, unwise, unwise, unwise decisions. And when we surround ourselves with and when we listen to, and when we open ourselves up to the voices of wisdom, we make better decisions, we live with fewer regrets, we avoid becoming our own worst enemy.
So one more time, whose advice are you currently ignoring? And what's the narrative that fuels your ability to reject that advice? So wrapping up, these are the preemptive habits I hope that you'll take seriously. Number one, pay attention to the tension. Number two, pay attention to your narratives. We can talk some more about that today. And number three, pay attention to the voices of wisdom around you. And again, not just for your sake. This is not about you. This is as much about the people around you.
The night that Jesus was arrested, he gave us our new covenant marching orders. He reduced all the teaching of his people down to one simple imperative. He said, "You are as my follower to love as I have loved you, to love as I have loved you". We as Jesus followers, if you're a Jesus follower, you cannot love as God through Christ has loved you if you blow up your life over selfish, unwise decisions because you're not the only one that suffers, the people around you suffer which means if you're a Jesus follower, this idea, these three things have less to do with you than they do the people around you. So pay attention, pay attention to that tension. Pay attention to your conscience. Pay attention to those narratives, the good ones and the crazy ones, the odd ones and the one's that don't make any sense. And pay attention to the voices of wisdom around you.