Who Are You Listening To?

“You need to get a new car” …

“You need at least a 4-bedroom house”…

“Keep the money”…

“Come on. When is the last time you indulged?”…

“It’s okay, just park there”…

These are some of the things my husband, Nate, and I have heard from others in our conversations…just in the latter half of 2022 alone.

Let me add some context… 

We realized a few months ago that we’ll soon probably outgrow our condo, as well as the cars we drive. So, of course, we’d gotten suggestions to upsize.

Soon after that, we also had some water damage at home that we informed our insurance company about. But after getting a contractor’s estimate, what needed to be done and the cost to repair were significantly less than our insurer’s adjuster recommended. Nevertheless, most of the people we spoke to saw nothing wrong about pocketing the money for repairs we wouldn’t even be making.

And most recently, someone at work told Nate to park in disabled parking. “Nobody is here anyway.” “I just can’t do that,” he said to his coworker.

He got a look back of confusion…

Would we like to upsize? Sure! But we know we have other priorities, first of all. Secondly, we aren’t interested in willingly walking into debt just to acquire these things, when we can make do with what we have until the time is right (1 Timothy 6:8). 

Could we use the extra insurance money? Sure! But we know we’re not called to be greedy (Luke 12:15) or to deal falsely with one another (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 13:11).

Could Nate have parked in the reserved spot so he could be closer to where he was going? Sure! But convenience doesn’t make something right.

See, it wasn’t a big deal to his coworker, but to Nate, it wasn’t right to park somewhere he didn’t belong. It doesn’t matter if a hundred other spots were available. It was reserved for someone who may need it at some point. 

We’re called to defend others and seek justice for the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17). Sometimes, an inconvenience to us is an act of loving service to others.

As I took a few moments during my devotional time to read the October and November ‘22 blogs from our authors, Howard Dayton, Brandon Sieben, and Gwenda Jayawardhana, I found it interesting that the topics (Contentment, Greed and Honesty) directly related to these conversations. But much of what we’d been told has been the opposite of what Christ would want us to do.

I can confidently say that none of the people who said these things meant us any harm. I’m sure they meant well, or at the very least, simply gave us the same advice they would’ve given themselves. But it goes to show that this world does not have the answers we seek.

Way back when, I’m sure many comfortably believed that if the majority was doing one thing, then it was the right thing. But that’s not the case. 

I bring this up today, because I’m seeing firsthand now more than ever how crucial it is to seek the right counsel (Proverbs 19:20).

Now, we’re not perfect, but I’m thankful that my husband and I have each other to bounce ideas, thoughts and concerns off of, and that we have godly and wise people in our circle whom we can ask for advice. Because when we hear the wrong piece of advice, we already know not to listen.

Just because everyone thinks or does it this way, it doesn’t mean it’s right. The only way to know for sure is to study God’s Word, listen for the Holy Spirit and seek (and listen to) wise counsel.

As the year is quickly coming to an end, you may have some decisions to make going into the next year. Before you do, ask yourself if it would be best to turn to the Bible and seek wise counsel first.

With gratitude,

Melody Stampley

Managing Editor

AUTHOR BIO Melody is the founder of financial coaching business Centsible Finance LLC, which publishes the free e-letter Making Cents. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from the University of Florida in 2014, and a master’s in global strategic