One of the benefits and blessings of studying, internalizing, and applying the Word of God is that you tend to get wiser. After all, wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. The progression then leads to knowledge, understanding, and discernment. This is a process, but one that enables a person to then serve others as a friend, mentor, or counselor.
Not-fully-sanctified humans have a tendency to take something good and mess it up. Having people come to you for help and then finding relief can cause them to place you on a pedestal rather than view you as an equal. And, who can’t appreciate the appeal to be considered important and valuable? While understandable, this is not a good thing for either party. Our eyes need to remain focused on Christ so that we keep ourselves on the narrow path that leads to life, and not detour ourselves to coveting and pursing the praise of men.
It follows that the best thing one can do is encourage a person less-versed in Scripture to develop the practice of going to God’s Word first, before seeking guidance from another. It is true, that the individual may not know where to look, but then the need is to teach them how to use Scripture to inform every area of life and thought. After all, no one knows how long God has ordained for any of us to be here on earth, so equipping oneself and others is vital to furthering the Kingdom of God.
Once a person has committed and submitted his/her life to the Lord, the next step is to become educated in God’s ways. This includes the law of God as well as filtering it through the narratives of Scripture to identify how well or how poorly our forebears carried it out. That is how a person goes from only being able to digest the milk of the Word to the strong meat it provides.
The more I grow in faith, and thus have people seek out my advice, I realize my greatest service to them is to help them get to the point that they no longer need me. That doesn’t mean our relationship ends. Rather, it means we are able to have a relationship that serves the Kingdom each from our own spheres and jurisdictions.
I’m convinced this is how we build the army of the Lord. Whether it’s with our children, grandchildren, those within the Body, or even those we work with or casually meet. The overall goal is not to elevate ourselves to the position of “guru”, but to equip ourselves first, and then the saints. We must decrease so that He (the Lord) is increased.