Girlfriends in God - July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010 

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 
Our grandson, Justus, just celebrated his first birthday.  And we are scrambling to child-proof everything in our home!  I did not realize how many drawers and cabinets we have until Justus decided it was time to explore every single one of them looking for a "ball."  He is just like his mother when she was a toddler - curious and always on the go.   

When Danna 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 electrical outlet in order to insert toys and various household items in the funny little holes.  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 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 and learn from their wrong choices and then apply those lessons to their lives. God honors a life of applied truth and will provide His wisdom and understanding as we follow and obey Him.

Let's Pray  
Father, I want Your wisdom for my life.  Please help me examine every choice that I make today in the light of Your truth. 

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn  

  • Accept the fact that temptation will come.  What temptations are you facing today?   
  • Get ready and stay ready to face temptation by reading and memorizing Scripture.  Start with John 3:16.  
  • When you sin, accept the consequences and learn the lessons of that wrong choice.  Read and memorize 1 John 1:9.  Look for opportunities to apply your newly gained wisdom by changing an attitude and/or behavior.

More From The Girlfriends 
My husband often says that you can't keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.  You cannot avoid temptation.  Just remember that temptation itself is not sin - but an invitation to sin.  When temptation knocks, ask Jesus to answer the door.

Are you seeking God?  Join other women across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.  When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies.  Check it out!

Need hope?  Get Mary's book, Hope in the Midst of Depression for ways to climb out of that pit you are in.  Learn how you can help someone you love who is dealing with the darkness.   

Need a friend?  Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.  She loves hearing what God is doing in your life! 

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Thursday, 29 July 2010.