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Practical Counsel That Improves Lives

Practical Counsel That Improves Lives

IMAGINE that a new doctor moved into your area. At first you may be a little wary of him. But what if some of your friends sought his help and their health improved dramatically? Might you not consider consulting that doctor too?

In some ways, the Holy Scriptures are like that doctor. Some people are wary of consulting them. But when they apply the wise counsel found therein, their lives improve dramatically. Consider some examples.

Resolving Marriage Problems

“Early in my marriage, I felt that Dumas, my husband, neglected me,” recalls Sumiatun. “In frustration, I often screamed abuse at him, hurled objects at him, even hit him. Sometimes I got so worked up, I fainted.

“When Dumas began to study the Holy Scriptures, I mocked him. But secretly I listened in on his studies from the next room. One day, I heard some verses read: ‘Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord . . . The wife should have deep respect for her husband.’ (Ephesians 5:22, 33) These words touched my heart. I asked God to forgive me for abusing my husband, and I prayed for His help to become a better wife. Soon Dumas and I were studying the Scriptures together.”

Dumas and Sumiatun

The Holy Scriptures also say: “Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.” (Ephesians 5:28) Sumiatun relates: “Learning these things affected us both. I began to bring Dumas a cup of tea when he came home from work and to speak to him in a kind way. Dumas, in turn, showed me more affection and helped me with the household chores. We both worked to ‘become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another.’ (Ephesians 4:32) In turn, our love and respect for each other steadily grew. Now we have been happily married for over 40 years. The wise counsel in God’s Word saved our marriage!”

Controlling Anger

“I had a violent temper,” says Tayib. “I got into many fights and often threatened others with a gun. I also beat my wife, Kustriyah, knocking her to the ground in a rage. Many people feared me.

Kustriyah and Tayib pray together every night

“One day, I read Jesus’ words: ‘I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you.’ (John 13:34) I was deeply moved, and I determined to change. When anger welled up inside me, I prayed to God for help to stay calm. My anger soon subsided. My wife and I applied the counsel of Ephesians 4:26, 27: ‘Let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.’ We read the Scriptures and prayed together every night. This swept away the tensions of the day and drew us closer together.

“Now I am known as a man of peace. My wife and children love and respect me. I have many friends, and I feel close to God. I am a truly happy man.”

Overcoming Drug Abuse


“I ran with a gang of youths, was a heavy smoker, and regularly spent the night collapsed in the street, drunk,” says Goin. “I also used and sold illicit drugs​—marijuana and ecstasy—​which I kept hidden under my bulletproof vest. Although I looked and acted tough, I lived in constant fear.

“Then someone showed me this scripture: ‘My son, my law do not forget . . . because length of days and years of life and peace will be added to you.’ (Proverbs 3:1, 2) I yearned for a long and peaceful life! I also read: ‘Since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.’ (2 Corinthians 7:1) So I quit drugs, cut off my association with the gang, and started serving God.

“I have now been drug-free for over 17 years. I enjoy good health, a happy family, good friends, and a clear conscience. And instead of lying in the street drunk, I sleep peacefully in bed every night.”

Conquering Racial Prejudice

“As a teenager, I lived a life of crime,” recalls Bambang, “and most of my victims belonged to an ethnic minority that I hated.

“In time, however, I began searching for God. My search led me to a group that met to study the Holy Scriptures. There, I was greeted warmly by people of the very ethnic background that I hated! I also saw that within the study group, different races mixed freely and happily. I was amazed! I then understood the scripture that says: ‘God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.’​—Acts 10:34-35.

“Today, my heart is no longer poisoned by prejudice. Some of my best friends belong to the ethnic group I once hated. Through the Holy Scriptures, God has taught me to love.”

Bambang now enjoys happy association with people of different races

Abandoning Violence

“While still a teenager, I was jailed three times​—twice for stealing and once for brutally stabbing a man,” says Garoga. “Later, I joined a rebel group and killed many people. After the conflict ended, I ran an extortion racket as a crime boss. My bodyguards accompanied me everywhere. I was a violent and dangerous man.

Garoga is no longer a violent man but a respected teacher of God’s Word

“Then, one day, I read this scripture: ‘Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury.’ (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5) Those words touched my heart. I moved to a new area, studied the Scriptures, and applied their counsel in my life.

“Now I am no longer a violent man. Instead, I am respected as a teacher of God’s Word. My life has true direction and purpose.”

God’s Word Exerts Power

These and countless other experiences prove that “the word of God is alive and exerts power.” (Hebrews 4:12) Its counsel is simple, practical, and upbuilding.

Can the Holy Scriptures help you too? Yes, they can, with whatever problem you may be facing. “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”​—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

Therefore, let us consider some basic teachings found in the Holy Scriptures.