Advice From The Wrong Place

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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Listen while you read: "I'm Not Ashamed To Own My Lord"1 (Lyrics)

Hosea 4:12a – They ask a piece of wood for advice! They think a stick can tell them the future! (NLT)

Advice is prevalent, but where we get it from is essential. I was working for a very difficult boss. She was manipulative, moody, and deceptive, and could be downright mean. Soon after beginning this job, I wondered if I'd made the right decision. I didn't ask advice from anyone about what I should do. Had I, I might have heard, "Tell her to take the job and shove it," or "You have a family to take care of. Sometimes we have to do what we don't particularly enjoy." In the final analysis, I took the advice that God gave me through prayer and stayed put for five years.

Hosea prophesied to hard-headed people who were faithless, unkind, sexually immoral, criminal, violent, alcoholic, and buck-passers. The saddest thing was that when they needed advice, they asked their wooden idols. God they disregarded.

Advice is plentiful. Good advice is scarce. I can go to a bookstore and find advice everywhere on any question that I have. Or I can pick up my smart phone, computer, or iPad, and ask Google. I could also go to the nearest bar, where the bartender would be more than happy to offer his opinion, or to the local barbershop, where I could get the same.

Many of the places where I could seek advice would be no better than the piece of wood Hosea's audience consulted. If it's a book that I consult, it should offer sound Christian doctrine or, at the very least, be based on biblical principles. If it's a website, I should read the About section, and if it's people that I consult, they should be mature Christians with life experience and knowledge.

The best advice doesn't come from wood sources but from praying and searching God's Word. Others may lead me astray — inadvertently or on purpose — but God never will. What He says in His Word — or through other godly sources — can always be trusted.

Don't get your advice from wood sources. Go to God.

Prayer: Father, we thank You that the advice that You give will always be just what we need. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great devotional Martin! Excellent advice grounded in God’s Word – you can’t get any better than that!

    Dear Martin Wiles.
    I usually read Bible verses in your writing rather than shocking words.
    I am sure you could have done much more for the kingdom of God than you did in this.
    I pray that you will be your best Christian self in the future.

    Hi Martin,
    Been there – done that!
    I, like you also finally learned to get my advice from the One true source
    as I always rely on Proverbs 3:5:
    “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    Bless you and your ministry.

    Thanks for this encouraging message. Blessings.

    Thank you for the reminder Martin.I needed to hear that, because I too often get caught up in my own devices and forget to seek His word.

    Dear Isabel,
    Thank you so much for a very excellent devotional.
    I volunteer as a chaplain at our local correctional facility. Sometimes we have inmates who have their children die while they are incarcerated.
    We cannot be with them for long periods of time, but having something like this to read over and over, I’m sure would be a great help to them.
    I would like to photocopy it and give it out where appropriate.

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