When facing challenging situations, it’s natural to turn to family and friends for help. Sometimes their kind and encouraging words may be the catalyst that turns us back to God. However, we must always be careful to examine advice offered to us. Even though the counsel is motivated by love and seems sound, if it is inconsistent with God’s Word in any way, we should politely disregard it.
In Genesis 16, Sarai faced a challenging situation. Although the Lord had promised Abram a son, both of them were getting older, and Sarai had not been able to conceive. Since she was obviously barren, she became impatient and suggested that Abram have a child through her maid Hagar.
Instead of waiting and trusting God, Sarai was trying to fulfill His promise her way. Abram chose to follow his wife’s advice without seeking the Lord’s guidance. After all, it seemed reasonable because God has explicitly promised him a son (Gen. 15:4) but had not specifically mentioned Sarai at this point (see Gen. 18:14). However, Abram’s unwise decision not to wait and trust God led to tension in his family and difficult circumstances for Hagar.
Like Abram, we tend to heed advice we want to hear. However, as we consult our loved ones for help with momentous decisions, it’s important to distinguish between our fleshly desires and biblical truth. Wise counsel is always consistent with Scripture and points us to God’s desires and ways.
The next time you seek an opinion from friends or family, remember that no human being knows all the unseen factors. Therefore, it’s always better to trust in the Bible and God’s wisdom for guidance.
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