Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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Sports is such an emotional thing! It's a lot of thrills, but then there's an occasional tragedy. This happened some years ago, but I still remember the death of the captain of the Boston Celtics basketball team, Reggie Lewis. He collapsed in a basketball playoff game. A team of doctors said that he had a potentially deadly heart condition and he couldn't play any more. Well, they went for a second opinion and those doctors said it wasn't so serious and he could gradually return to play. He died doing practice shooting in a gym a few months later, maybe trying to make a come back. One newscaster I heard reported it this way, "He heard what he wanted to hear."

 Well, the shocking death of Reggie Lewis raised a pretty large medical debate in the press. They called it advice shopping. You know, you just keep asking until someone tells you what you want to hear.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Shopping Costs Too Much."

Our word for today from the Word of God is from 1 Kings 12; a great example of that. It's the beginning of the reign of King Rehoboam in Israel. He was King Solomon's son. He got off to a great start, and he's trying to seek advice. People were asking him to go a little easier on them than King Solomon did, and he's trying to figure out what he should do.

First, he goes to the elders. And the elders who had served King Solomon tell him that if he serves the people, they will gladly serve him. Then he says, "Well, I think I'll talk to my young friends." And he talks to his peers. They sort of say, "Hey, flex your muscles there Old Rehoboam. Put the screws to them. Tell them you're going to be tough! You've got to let them know who's in charge."

1 Kings 12:8, "Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him." Verse 13, "The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men."

Then in verse 19, here comes the ultimate outcome: "So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day." He lost a lot didn't he? Why? Because he shopped for the advice he wanted to hear, not for the truth. He heard the truth. He didn't like the truth. So he kept looking for some advice until he got what fit what he wanted to already do. He wanted advice that would just reinforce him, not challenge him. He shopped till he got a green light, because he had already decided he was going to run a red light anyway; a lot like us. Chances are God has maybe put someone in your life, maybe several someone's who tell you the truth whether you like it or not. I've got those. See, an insecure person shops for someone who will just agree and support what he's already decided to do.

Rehoboam kept asking for advice and it doomed his kingdom. The Bible encourages us to check out our "want-to-do-it list" by seeking out godly advisors who will tell us the truth. You've got to go with a blank sheet of paper. The truly wise person, the one whose decisions look good like ten years from now, not just ten days from now, that's what we're talking about here. Seek the advice of a parent or someone who's been down this road, or for sure people who walk with God.

Ultimately, of course, it's always best to measure every choice by the infallible, mistake-proof Word of God. Don't try to scripture shop for verses that just sort of support what you already want to do. Put your ideas and your life next to what God says on the subject, not what you like. If you've been doctor shopping to justify what you're doing, you're on a road you'll wish you hadn't taken, like that poor basketball player who kept shopping for what he wanted to hear.

Go looking for the truth even when it hurts. Go looking for the voice of God, not just human advice. You cannot afford shopping for what you want to hear, because it will cost you more than you want to pay.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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