Dear Miriam

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

1 Corinthians 1:25

I received a text this morning from one of our associate pastors who copied a Facebook post from a guy we both know who was living up to the old saying, “It’s better to be considered a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” He was obviously offended by someones post and instead of taking the high road he took the bait and decided to reroute the lower road by going even lower. We all do well to remember what we say about other people often times reveals more about us than it does the other person.

If you are 40 years or older you probably have heard of or possibly even read the newspaper column, “Dear Abby” at one time or another where people would write this “wise woman of the world” asking her advice for their life’s problems. Her columns were read daily by millions of people around the world. Most of the time her answers were basically what people would call, “common sense” answers but she never had a problem giving you her “opinion” on the subject either. The world is full of people and each of us has our opinions about life that are shaped by our knowledge and experience, some good and some bad. I remember an old saying that someone once said, “everyone has an opinion and they die with them” and it’s true. We need to remember though that the Word of God lives forever.

In the book of Job we learn that Job had his so called friends who had their opinions about his unexplained suffering in life and yet each of them truly believed their opinions regarding Jobs circumstances were formed by their knowledge of God when they came to comfort and council him. In the end, when the dust settled, they turned out to be misguided regardless of how sincere they were in the beginning. Proof that emotion and popular opinion are bad counselors. One of my favorite bible teachers, Dr. David Jeremiah calls these kind of counselors, “Frienemies”. A frienemy is someone who claims to be your friend but whose council is not biblical and ultimately misguided.

The apostle Paul, who was truly filled with and led by the Holy Spirit when he penned the words to Corinthian church said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Jesus said, speaking of Himself that His words are truth and life so when it comes to sharing with others and counseling them about life’s woes the best advice we can give to them is the revealed word of God found within the pages of our bibles.

As pastor John Courson has well said, “If it’s new it’s not true and if it’s true it’s not new”. Pastor Chuck Smith would often exhort the senior pastors at the annual conference reminding us to, “Focus on sharing God’s Word with people as the bible, not our opinions are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” As an example on how misguided the advice of the world can be and to prove the point in a humorous way this morning, I’ll leave you with this little story below. It’s titled “Dear Miriam”. Enjoy!

Dear Miriam,

The other day I set off for work, leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual.

I hadn’t gone a hundred yards down the road when my engine conked out and the car juddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband’s help.

When I got home I found him in the bedroom. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was parading in front of the wardrobe mirror dressed in my underwear and high heel shoes, and he was wearing my make up.

I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for 12 years. When I confronted him, he tried to say that he had dressed up in my lingerie because couldn’t find any of his own underwear. But when I asked him about the make up he broke down and admitted that he has been wearing my clothes for six months. I told him it had to stop, or I would leave him.

He was laid off from his job six months ago, and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless, I love him very much. But ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant, and I don’t feel I can get through to him any more. Please can you help?

Miriam’s response back,

“A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults in the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the intake manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.” (end of story)

Now, that was funny! Have a wonderful day knowing as misguided as we can be in our advice to others, when our council is from the Lord it will serve both their need and will glorify the Lord. Point people to Jesus!

“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding’

Proverbs 2:6


Michael Osthimer





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