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When What "Seems Right..." Just Isn't!

While working as a security guard in TX, I had some interesting experiences. Once, a girl on our college landscaping crew got bit by a water moccasin and was rushed to a local hospital.

Now our boss, the Director of Security for the college, had told us NEVER to take someone to Gladewater hospital. “It’s just bad,” he said, “Always—go to Longview or Tyler, never Gladewater.” Still, Gladewater was closer, so the guard on duty tossed the poor girl in the patrol car and raced with lights flashing—to Gladewater.

They arrived shortly thereafter and sat in the waiting room…and sat….and sat…meanwhile, the swelling in the girls hand moved slowly up her arm as the poison did its thing. The guard started getting nervous. Then, came the “real kicker.” As he was debating whether or not to put her back in the car and race to Longview, the guard overheard the triage nurse say, “Hey Anna Belle, didn’t we have a book about snake bite somewhere ‘round here? I caint find it nowheres.”

He left immediately.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Bottom line? Sometimes what "seems right," just isn't!

So how do you know the difference between what feels like the right thing to do and what is actually the wisest, most moral, most just, etc.? I think there are a few "guideposts" for us to use in these cases:

1. Listening prayer. We all like to pray by giving God what I call our "marching orders." We hand God a list of things to do for us daily and call that, "prayer time." Jesus spent hours in prayer, but indications are that he listened more than talked. Take for example the all-nighter he pulled before choosing the disciples. The Father seems to have told him whom to pick. That means he listened...(see Luke 6:12-13).

2. Time in the Word. I'm amazed at how often I hear Christians asking for advice on things already CLEARLY addressed in scripture. If we truly believe it's inspired by God and without error, why wouldn't we go their first for answers?!

3. Counsel from those who've "been there...and done that!" Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 24:6 all say, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." It's wise to seek advice from more than one person who has walked the same path we're walking. Oh and yes, we should likely listen to them assuming we've prayed, listened in prayer, checked the scripture to see if God gives guidance on the issue, etc.; first!

Of course, we add to these things our own experience, education, and "gut feeling." Still, I find that checking these three "guideposts" first helps keep me on track--especially if my instincts are a bit off base.

Hope this helps,

Pastor Jo

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