Girlfriends in God - Feb. 28, 2007

February 28, 2007

A Word to the Wise

Mary Southerland




Today’s truth


"This is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem: 'Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words,' declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 35:13 (NIV)



Friend to Friend


When my daughter was about three years old, she became utterly fascinated with electrical outlets. One of her favorite activities was working the childproof cover off of an outlet in order to insert toys and various household items. Needless to say, I was not thrilled with this game. Over and over, several times a day, I took her to the outlet and said firmly, “No! No! No! It will hurt you!” She would look up at me with her beautiful brown eyes and dimpled smile in total, angelic agreement. After several trips to the outlet I thought, “She’s got it!” And she did – for two whole days. While putting groceries away, I heard a piercing scream from the family room. When I reached Danna, I found a sobbing toddler holding up a tiny burned finger for me to kiss and make better. Even at her young age, she had acquired a valuable nugget of wisdom and has never again purposely inserted a foreign object into any electrical outlet.


When we give in to temptation, ignoring God’s truth, the result is always sin. Attached to that sin is the hefty price tag of painful consequences. Every choice we make – every action that we take has consequences. We can ignore those consequences or learn from them, taking to heart the message God has assigned to them and gain the wisdom that they hold.


Everyone in the Garden of Eden had consequences. Eve’s wrong choices led to pain in childbirth, subjection to her husband’s authority and the loss of her perfect world. Adam forfeited his “cushy” job to discover that growing food would require a lot of sweat and hard work. The fertile ground would grow only thorns and he, too, would be thrown out of the garden. Death for man and animals became a reality and the serpent was doomed to crawl in the dust forever, facing the hatred of all men as well as judgment and death.


The story is told of a young man who, at the age of thirty-two, was appointed President of the bank. He had never dreamed that he would become president at all - much less at such a young age. So he approached the Chairman of the Board, a man known for his wisdom, and asked, "You know, I've just been appointed President and was wondering if you could give me some advice." The old man came back with just two words, "Right decisions!" The young man had hoped for a bit more than this. "That's really helpful and I appreciate it,” he said, “but can you be more specific? For example, how do I make right decisions?" The wise old man pondered the question for a moment then simply responded, "Experience." Growing impatient, the young man said, "Well, that's why I am here. I don't have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?" The terse reply quickly came, "Wrong decisions!"


Wise people accept the consequences of sin, learn from their wrong choices and apply those lessons to their lives. God honors a life of applied truth with His wisdom and understanding.



Let’s pray


Father, I want your wisdom for my life. Help me to examine every choice that I make today in the light of Your truth. Amen!



Now it’s your turn


Accept the fact that temptation will come. Get ready and stay ready to face that temptation with His truth and His power. When you sin, accept the consequences and learn the lessons of that wrong choice. Look for opportunities to apply your newly gained wisdom.



For more information on this topic, see Mary’s latest book, Hope in the Midst of Depression.





Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106



















Reflection points:


  • I need to evaluate the readiness of my heart and mind to face temptation.
  • What consequences of sin am I living with right now?
  • What lessons can I learn from those consequences?
  • How can I practice the wisdom of those consequences in every day life?
  • What is my true heart motive in wanting to obey God – is it to please Him or to escape the painful consequences of sin?



Originally published Wednesday, 28 February 2007.