Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hearty Counsel

A couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion with some ladies about our walks with God and how often we read our Bibles. Thankfully that is something that has been a habit for me for at least 15 years. I was regularly reading my Bible even before I trusted Christ as my Savior when I was 15. And I'm so glad. I want to read it and read it and read it and soak it up. I want it to become part of me. I want it to come out in the way I talk and think about the world and act (in private and before others). 

A few weeks ago I read Proverbs 27 and verse nine talked about being full of hearty counsel. The verse says, "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel." 

I want to be a person full of hearty counsel. Sure I want to be able to use small talk effectively. I want people to feel at ease in my presence. But I also want to go deeper. I don't want to go through life just barely skimming the surface of what's important. 

Women aren't often known for hearty counsel. Instead we develop a reputation for deceit and gossip and slander. We talk about others and cut people down. We are either blunt and rude or we only say nice things, even if they aren't true. Let's not be that kind of lady. 

Hearty counsel has to be grounded in the Bible. My own opinions are not hearty counsel. The world's viewpoint is not hearty counsel. But Jesus' words? That's hearty counsel. And we seem to be forgetting them more and more often. 

Hearty counsel tells the truth in love even if it hurts (Eph. 4:15). Hearty counsel says the pointed things about life when it would be easier to be quiet. Hearty counsels says "When you have time for facebook and not reading the Bible it shows that you care more about facebook than Jesus." That's love because it forces someone to look at what they are doing and maybe change. Anything less than truth does not encourage change. It says, "Oh, it's ok." when starting to read their Bible regularly could transform their lives. That's not love. Friends don't omit the truth. 

Hearty counsel respects the depth of other's burdens, regardless of how big or small they seem. Fourth-graders have burdens. Often they seem very small and laughable to adults but they are very serious to their elementary school hearts. I want to respect that. I want to respect that in the grown lady that is disturbed by something that seems so infantile and I really want to say, "Get over it!" That wouldn't respect her burden. 

We need to offer this hearty counsel to ourselves. To replace the lies we tell ourselves with the truth of God's Word. To give ourselves grace for our burdens even if we think they are small.  We need to tell ourselves the hard things instead of making excuses. 

We should seek this hearty counsel. It's easy to find people who will tell you what you want to hear. But you need friends to tell you the truth. Who do you listen to? Do they know the Bible? Do their lives line with up with Word? Be picky who you take advice from. 

I don't want to be the woman who says just nice things; I want to speak the truth. I want to speak it compassionately. I want to speak it boldly. So I must know the truth. I want the truth to be what comes from my heart and my mouth in all situations. So I need to read the truth. Study the truth. Learn the truth. 

How are you putting truth into your life today?


  1. Hi Lisa.
    This was a really good post. I appreciate your desire to be a woman of truth and that you share how hearty counsel isn't always about saying the popular or comfortable thing - but the right thing.
    I'm visiting you from 500 Words

    1. Donna! So glad you stopped by and that you enjoyed the post!