Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wise Counsel

Too often, we make hasty decisions without consulting anyone. Think back on the last three major decisions you made.... Did you ask anyone for their wisdom, counsel, or prayer? Who did you ask? What was the outcome? Would the outcome be any different if you had sought out wise counsel, or counsel from someone different?

"Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance..." - Proverbs 20:18
As Christians, we are instructed to seek out wise counsel! This often occurs out of a humble heart and a desire to earnestly seek God's will. Does this mean we allow others to make our decisions for us? Absolutely not! But as we are seeking God through His Word and prayer, we should also be talking to our mentors and fellow Christians about their thoughts. I know for me, talking through things with my mentors and other Christians is helpful because I am a verbal processor.... so even just talking out loud helps! And I find that when I think God is directing me in one way, and it is confirmed by several people, it is easier to rest in that and move forward as God is leading.

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." - Proverbs 11:14
"...in abundance of counselors there is victory." - Proverbs 24:6
An abundance... could sound overwhelming! However, this is important in order to avoid misleading. If what multiple, safe people are saying all line up... and more importantly, line up with what God's Word says, then you can be more certain of the counsel. If you currently only seek out wise counsel from one source, I would encourage you to check your heart and the healthiness of that relationship. Appropriate boundaries should be set in place to avoid codependency. I once heard Marian Jordan say, "If you fear someone other than the Lord, they have too high of a priority in your life." And Francis Chan once challenged a crowd I sat in with these questions, "Are you saying things your mentor told you to say? Or are you saying/doing things that are from your time with God?" Basically, listen to God first but seek out wise counsel from several healthy sources and apply the wisdom as it lines up with what God says.

"He who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me." - Psalm 101:6
I remember when I first read this verse. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Early in my walk with God, I would take everything and anyone any Christian said as "Truth." Even now, I am still learning the differences that Christians have views and beliefs on and sorting that out as I grow in the Lord. However, this verse is very important. When we seek out wise counsel, it should not be advice from a whole bunch of people who are not walking with God. Wise counsel should come from people who are walking closely with God, are seeking to do His will for their own lives, and want God's best for you! It is those people who should minister to you. Counsel from people who are not walking alongside God, is mere advice.

I hope this encourages you to seek out wise counsel, in conjunction with your own seeking God through His Word and prayer, the next time you make a [major] decision!

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