“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, September 21, 2009

Advice about Advice
Esther: Week 1, Day 4

Yesterday, I sat in awe as I listened to the discussion. We had just finished watching Session 1 of Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman. There were 10 of us sitting around a table made for eight, and as we tried to hear each other over the excitement of the other ladies in the room... it was as if we were the only people there.

Our hearts had melded together. Each woman having heard her heart's cry on the DVD was now given opportunity to share their pain and their past. But even more so, they shared their insight... their experience... their hope and sometimes... their advice. All out of love and encouragement and personal knowledge.

Their advice. Their counsel. All given out of care and compassion. All for the benefit of the hearing of another. With no agenda. With motivation from a pure heart. And my heart felt like it might burst out of my chest because I was privy to watch it all unfold.

God has brought together an amazing group of women. I know it is true for others, too. But I get this glimpse. This peak. To look through this window.

Oh, how I want to share their stories. How God has woven us all together either by experiences with rejection or suicide or alternate lifestyles or depression or alcoholism or lost loved ones or health issues or age. Women single due to divorce or death of a spouse... or waiting.

A young mom in her twenties. Two single gals in their thirties. Five of us in our 40-50-60s. Two women in their eighties. All sitting around discussing how Esther would end up becoming queen. But first discussing the missteps of Vashti and Xerxes. And the decisions that they made. And the counsel that was given.

The advice King Xerxes received. The counsel given by "dangerously tender egos." Given not out of care and compassion. Not for the benefit of the hearing of another. But with their own agenda. With motivation from selfish hearts. (Which also reminded me of silly King Rehoboam see 1 Kings 12:1-15.)

And worse yet... he took it. He took their advice. And many suffered.

Plans go wrong for lack of advice;
many advisers bring success.
Proverbs 15:22 NLT

Which makes me wonder... Who is sitting at your "table"? Who is giving you advice? If anyone? Girls, we need our sisters. Our sisters who have been there... who are trustworthy... who love us... who have our best interest at heart.

And for those of us who may be charged by the Lord to give advice... We cannot hold back if the Lord has asked us to come alongside someone to speak truth into their life. Knowing we are accountable for the words we give... and knowing we are accountable for the words we withhold.

Guide older women into lives of reverence
so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks,
but models of goodness.

By looking at them,
the younger women will know how to
love their husbands and children,
be virtuous and pure,
keep a good house, be good wives.
We don't want anyone looking down
on God's Message because of their behavior.
Titus 2:3-5 MSG


elizabeth embracing life said...

I had the blessing of also sitting, in my home and hearing the hearts of young, middle and older women open up to what God has planned. It's a marvelous experience. God is moving in Portland.

Robbyn said...

Great thoughts, Sheri. The video was really awesome. I love my table, too. We had a great conversation tonight. So good to have women of God with open hearts to receive His word.