Sports give us a lot of thrills and also occasional tragedies, like the death of the captain of the Boston Celtics basketball team, Reggie Lewis. After he collapsed in a basketball playoff game, a team of doctors said he had a potentially dangerous heart condition, and he couldn't play anymore. He went for a second opinion, and those doctors said he had a much less serious condition and could gradually return to playing. Well, he died doing some practice shooting in a gym a few months later.
One newscaster reported it this way, "He heard what he wanted to hear." This shocking death of Reggie Lewis raised a larger medical debate in the press. They call it doctor shopping. Basically, you keep asking around until someone tells you what you want to hear.
In the beginning of the reign of King Rehoboam, Solomon's son, in Israel, the people were asking that he be a little easier on them than his father was, and he tries to figure out what to do. First, he goes to the elders, and the elders who had served King Solomon tell him that if he is a servant to the people, they will gladly serve him. Then he says, "I think I will talk to my young friends," so he talks to his peers. They say to him, "Hey, flex your muscle there, King Rehoboam. Tell them you're going to be tough. Let them know who is in charge."
1 Kings 12:8 says, "Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him." Verse 13-14 says, "The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men." Verse 19 reveals the outcome. "So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day."
He lost an awful lot because he shopped for the advice he wanted to hear and not for the truth. He wanted advice that would reinforce him, not challenge him. He shopped until he got a green light because he had already decided he wouldn't obey a red light.
That is a lot like us. Chances are, God has put someone in our lives, and maybe several someones, who tell us the truth, whether we like it or not. Because we're insecure, we shop for someone who will just agree and support what we decide to do. Rehoboam took the appealing advice, and it doomed his kingdom.
The Bible encourages us to check our ideas by seeking out godly advisers who will tell us the truth. Go with a blank sheet of paper, not an opinion you just want them to sign. The truly wise person is the one whose decisions look good ten years from now, and not just ten days from now. That person seeks the advice of a parent, of someone who has been down this road, and of people who walk with God. Ultimately, the smart course is to measure every choice by the Word of God. Don't try to Scripture shop for verses that just support what you want. Honestly put your ideas and your life next to God's statements on the subject and do what God says, not what you like.
If you have been doctor shopping to justify what you are doing, you're on the Rehoboam road—a road where you lose what you were scheming to keep. Go looking for the truth, even if it hurts. Go looking for the voice of God, maybe through a human adviser. You cannot afford shopping for what you want to hear. It costs entirely too much.