Prophet, do you have something to say that is compatible with life?
Most of us arrive at various tipping points in our lives where it is time for us to change, time for a shift in who we are and how we live. We need to re-think everything about ourselves, from the kind of work we do, to our relationships, to our life perspectives. Or at least we should. We need to ask ourselves some very basic questions about life—
1. What am I all about?
2. Is this what I want to be about?
3. Well, if not this, then what?
4. Then, what do I need to do to get started?
It is at these tipping points when we most need the perspective and insights of others. It is also at these points in life when we are most vulnerable to the most persuasive voices. There are men and women among us with prophetic voices that are able to guide us along a healthy path to fulfill our journey with meaning and a sense of completion.
But there are also false prophets who just want a following; they claim to have an edge on the truth, special insights into your life that you should follow. They can be health guru’s, business advisors, life coaches, spiritual advisors, or simply good drinking buddies you listen to…, 8 beers in. Really!?!
How do you determine if your particular brand of prophet, or consultant, counselor, advisor, knows what they are talking about?
1. Listen carefully; then get a second, or third, or fourth opinion.
2. Scrutinize their lives to discover if they are taking their own advice, living by their own principles.
3. To what extent are they considering the risks you will be taking based on their advice?
4. To what extent are they coming alongside you? To what extent sending you out on your own?
Finding a voice to trust is no simple matter. It involves a good bit of trial and error—especially error. In my formative days I played with the Bible with some degree of philosophical skepticism and child-like disbelief. The whole thing seemed no more than fanciful stories. Except for the stories of Jesus—his stories seemed compatible with life the way I saw it around me. His stories seemed to fit life; my life. Thus, my conversion to the Christian faith was prompted more by philosophical investigation than anything else.
If Jesus were asked then, or now, “Prophet, do you have anything to say that is compatible with life?” he would more than likely not answer. Rather, he would continue teaching the principles God had sent him here to teach and live a life that backed up his claims, leaving his credibility to our discretion.
For what it’s worth,