I have been wondering, "When is it my duty before God to give unsolicited advice?" I look at people in the Bible like Elijah and Jonah and Nathan and John the Baptist. They all gave unsolicited advice (most of it unpleasant). Of course they were prophets. But as a child of God don't I have some of the same responsibilities: to warn, to rebuke. Now I know that unsolicited generally negative advice will likely turn many (if not most) people off. Then again, Jonah led a whole city to repentance and Nathan, a king. So how does this fit into my life?
When should I speak out against daycare (in a loving way of course) to people that have their newborn in daycare?
When should I speak out against shacking up to people that have been living together for years?
When should I stand up for husband headship amid Christian women who are disrespecting their husbands?
I have often heard that you need to have a strong relationship first. But is that what we find in the Bible? Nathan had a strong relationship with David, but Jonah hated the people of Nineveh and waited for them to die. John the Baptist rebuked whole crowds of people at a time.
When are we to speak the truth in love and when are we to keep our big mouths shut?
Am I more likely to be sinning when I remain silent or when I speak up?
In part I think that the real crux of this matter is: Am I willing to speak the truth even at the cost of friendships or ridicule?
Is most of this angst really about the right or wrong of saying something or is it fear of people and what they will think, say, or do?
I would love to hear all of your comments!