Wise Advice

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Exodus 18:24 NKJV)  So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Observation: Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of the miraculous exit of Israel from Egypt, and came to meet them and to bring Moses his wife and children.  While visiting Moses, Jethro noticed that his son-in-law would sit from sunrise to sunset listening to the people’s problems, providing guidance, and teaching them what God wanted them to know and do.  Realizing that this approach would eventually wear out both Moses and the people, Jethro suggested a pan by which Moses would choose a number of people and delegate some of his responsibilities to them.  This wise advice not only helped Moses and the Israelites, but has served as a pattern in many organizations, including the church so that all the burden and responsibility do not fall on the leaders shoulders alone but that it be shared with other capable leaders.

Application: This story is very meaningful to me.  I was blessed to have a most wonderful, generous, kind man for my father-in-law, a true gentleman, a very loving father, husband, and grandfather, a very patient, honest, and fair individual.  From the very beginning, he opened not only his home but his heart to me and welcomed me into the family as if I had always been part of it.  I remember that shortly after he was diagnosed with brain cancer he had an attorney draw up his will.  We were visiting that weekend and he and I were at home alone when he showed me the will and asked for my opinion.  Here was a man, many years my senior, asking me if I thought the way he had distributed his estate and how he made provision for his wife to be taken care of was fair and just (which I indeed thought it was).  He didn’t need my opinion, but that act showed me how wise, respectful, polite, and kind he was to include me in one of the most important decisions of his life. For that cat, and many others, I will remember him with great admiration and respect.
     For some reason, mothers-in-law have always gotten a bad reputation and have been the recipients of many jokes and sarcastic remarks.  I would imagine that just as there are some problematic mothers-in-law, there are many who are very good.  My mother always spoke of her mother-in-law, my grandmother Cecilia, with the most positive, loving words of admiration and appreciation.  Both my wife and I remember and speak of each other’s mom’s in the warmest of ways.  While there are in-laws that may be more problematic than not, I wonder if more often than not the problem is with the son or daughter in law, maybe because of their immaturity, or maybe in their attempt to assert their independence and leadership in the home, that they feel threatened by the spouse’s parents and their attempts to be loving and helpful.  It would be best if we can enjoy the love and wisdom of our parents and parents-in-law, and that we may maintain a warm relationship which will bless and benefit everyone involved.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank you for our spouse’s family and for their contributions to our life, future, and well-being.  May we all learn to maintain a positive attitude toward one another knowing that in Your family we all can benefit from each other’s knowledge, wisdom, and love.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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