Who taught you that?
I am a parent. Sometimes I am not entirely certain I am all that good at it, but all the same, I am one. It is my job to help shape a few young minds. Scary, I know. Right now it’s easy stuff. Don’t touch a hot burner, look both ways when crossing the street, and eat your vegetables.
I know the day is coming when it will get exponentially more complicated. I spent quite a few years working in student ministries helping families navigate the teen years, so I know fairly soon dating advice, friend selection, and social pressure will consume the conversations I have with my kids. Then comes the really hard stuff, like life disappointment, regret, broken relationships, and coping skills. What makes this even harder is the paralleled reality of increasingly difficult life circumstances with the decreasing influence and control I have over my kids. Before long my kids may find themselves like most adults with few people speaking healthy advice into their lives and high-risk decisions in front of them.
So what do I do as a parent? One of my primary goals is to teach my kids to always consider the source. I want to constantly ask them, “Who taught you that?” Help teach them to differentiate between Disney life advice and Biblical wisdom. That question has so much power. It helps people stop and evaluate the wisdom of their decisions by pinpointing the source of the wisdom. I want my kids to learn to examine the thoughts that are guiding them.
So here is a question–who speaks into your life? Who is the person or people that shape your life’s decisions?
I find in counseling sessions that many people make their biggest life decisions based on random, often anecdotal advice and their personal feelings experienced in the moment. All of us need to allow people to speak into our lives. This is one of the reasons I keep going to school, despite the cost. I want to keep learning. This is why I have a handful of great friends from college professors, theologians, and even medical people whom I continually bounce ideas off of. It is why I keep reading. This is also why I have learned to turn a deaf ear to opinionated people who clearly aren’t experts.
I am still being shaped. So here is the question you ought to be asking over and over again. Who taught ME that? I love the way the Bible states it. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20 ESV)