Our water bill went up from $60 to $80. Higher than normal, but acceptable. It went up to $100 and we were a bit concerned. When it went up to $200, we realized we had a leak. Calvin (the hubs) discovered a leak in our shower, and we were talking about how we could tear out the shower and redo that bathroom when our friend Tim called. Calvin told him what was going on, and he came over and looked at the shower. Tim said that the shower just needed a little caulk and suggested that we rule out a leak in the yard before we started tearing up our house.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15 (ESV)
As we investigated further, things pointed to a leak under our slab. We got upset, but Tim reminded us to rule out a leak in the yard and he was right; the leak was in the yard. They dug up the yard to run new line from the meter to the house, and we have a $60 water bill in our future! I am so thankful for Tim’s guidance and thrilled that we didn’t start tearing out walls and busting up concrete looking for the leak.
We’d have done much more damage to our home had we not listened to Tim’s wise counsel, which reminds me of the necessity of wise counsel when dealing with sin. When sin is wreaking havoc on our lives, we need wise counsel. While sin may leave a mark (like the fresh dirt in my yard), wise counsel can prevent more catastrophic damage (like ripped out walls, a gutted shower, and busted concrete).
In times when I’ve struggled with sin, I’ve had friends who would tell me what I wanted to hear (that I was right and/or justified in my behavior/feelings/desires). Above all, they agreed with me and “took my side” (especially if I was in conflict with someone), and this made me feel better about my struggle, but offered no real help, and could, over time, cause catastrophic damage to my witness and my relationships.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 (ESV)
I’ve learned to go to women mature in their faith for advice. While they rarely tell me what I want to hear, they gently give me advice that offers real help, minimizing the damage caused by sin. Rather than justifying my behavior, they lovingly help me see my own sin. Their counsel is uncomfortable. It leaves me feeling raw, vulnerable, and ripped open, much like my poor lawn was ripped open for the new water line. Even so, heeding their counsel saves me from more extensive damage and points me back toward God.
When your soul is uneasy, when you are restless, when you are flirting with sin, when you are dancing on the edge of sinful behavior, when you are willingly choosing dive into sin, and when you are drowning in sin, I pray that you seek wise counsel. Satan’s desire is to destroy you. Wise counsel will reveal Satan’s work in your life. Wise counsel will take the focus off others and tell you to turn from the temptation Satan has placed before you. Wise counsel will guide you to God, who can restore you, give you peace and fill your heart with joy.
For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 24:6 (ESV)
Father God, reveal to me the wise women you have put in my life. Help me to have courage to go to them when I am struggling with sin. Give them wisdom to counsel me in love so I will see Satan’s working in my life. Give me courage to turn from the temptations he places before me. Soften my heart even now so I am receptive to their words. Create in my heart a desire for a deeper relationship with you and reveal the things in my life stealing my peace and joy. Amen