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Looking for Answers in the Wrong Place

A moth walks into a podiatrist’s office, and the podiatrist says, “What seems to be the problem, Moth?”

And the moth says, “Ah, doc, if there were only just one problem.  My father died, and I miss him terribly, and worst of all, I’m worried that my uncle killed him.  And my mother has taken up with this very same uncle, and I don’t know what to do, doc.  I don’t know how to respond to this—I just feel so lost.  At this point, I just don’t know if it’s better to be or not to be.”

And the podiatrist is like, “Ah, man.  Moth, those are really serious problems, and I’m sorry you’re going through this, but it sounds like you need to see a psychiatrist.  I’m a podiatrist.  What brought you to my office today?”

And the moth says, “Oh, the light was on.”

Looking for Answers

Aren’t we all moths?

I had a childhood friend who got sick.  He turned to the internet to diagnose his problem and decided he had Lymes disease since he recalled a tick bite earlier that summer.  Unfortunately, by the time he got to a doctor, his cancer had spread to the point of no return.

I know many people who continue to work and live in situations that are not healthy.  They gravitate to project types, personalities, and geographic locations that previously were bad for them, yet they think they will be more successful on the second, third, or fourth time.

How many times have we seen a business acquaintance do something and comment, “I wish they would have asked me about that first.”  Examples for me go from the color someone painted their house to the name of their new start-up company.  You wonder where they got their advice.

And when you tactfully ask, they won’t admit it.  Maybe it was the internet, their mother-in-law, or the person who cuts their hair.

Where to Go for Good Answers

Like all devoted moths, I asked this very question of the internet.

The answer — go to the internet.  But, of course, I should have known that.

The first place to go in getting good answers is to start before you have a question.

All business leaders and entrepreneurs should have a business network of fellow business people who have experience in a broad range of topics.  Most communities have organizations you can join that facilitate this activity.

However, very few experienced business people will turn down an opportunity to have coffee with a fellow businessman or woman who wants to “pick their brain.”  You should have a network of bankers, insurance people, landowners, builders, etc., so that when an important question arises, you can make several phone calls and get honest, forthright answers.

The second place to start when searching for answers is to consider the question.

What is the question you want an answer to?  Don’t ask the question that gives you the answer you want but gives you the response you need.  And be prepared to drill down to get specifics.  For the most part, our fellow business people are prepared to provide details when asked.

The Bible

The Bible is the place for life’s answers.

It won’t help you with the color of your house, whether to buy the red Chevy or the black Ford, or how to get to the nearest grocery store.  But for the most part, it is there for the questions that keep people awake at night.

Throughout the Bible, we see people asking questions of God.

In the Old Testament, they either communicated directly with God (as Moses did) or with one of his prophets, such as Samuel or Elijah.

In the New Testament, they were asking questions of Jesus.  In Matthew 22:35-40, we read of an expert in the law as written in Scripture asking Jesus.

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Here is a supposed “expert” asking a simple question of a man with no formal training in the law.  Jesus always had an answer.  Sometimes he gave a direct answer, sometimes he told a story, and sometimes He asked a question that revealed the correct answer to the inquirer.

There are many reasons why the Bible has the correct answers.

Mainly, God is the sovereign creator of the universe, whose wisdom, by definition, is greater than all of mankind combined.  By contrast, human wisdom is notoriously frail and fallible.

James 1:5 advises,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.”

Good answers are not hard to find.  You do not have to be a moth and go to where the light attracts you. 

Instead, assemble a group of advisors who can help when asked, and make sure some of those advisors bring familiarity with the Bible as their source of great advice.