Examine Your Counselors

Thursday, 25 February 2016 04:34 Written by 

“Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm], But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory”. Proverbs 11:14 (AMP).

The phrase “with age comes wisdom” is getting more practical for me as the years go by. In the last couple of years, I find myself reflecting a lot on counsel that I have received in the past and how some of them that were not inspired by the wisdom of God led to the path of regret in some areas of my life. I have to admit that I have received many a counsel that have made a difference in my life and somewhat ushered me into destiny which is the reason I would not completely discourage anyone from seeking counsel however; the message here is a plea to examine the source of our counsel. I have decided to return to the word of scripture and seek to understand God’s perspective of seeking and applying counsel.

Seeking to gain wisdom and knowledge is critical to anyone’s success especially since we are faced with important decisions to make daily. However; scripture teaches that God wants us to seek his knowledge and wisdom which empowers us to give and apply counsel well. In James 1:5, the bible says: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking”. (NLT). When we go before God to ask for his direction, it presents an opportunity for us to strengthen our relationship with him and learn to submit to his will for our lives. Now reader, I have to remind you that the scripture above does not discourage one from seeking counsel from another person. God created man in ‘his image’ and continues to empower those who seek him diligently with his spirit which nurtures the ability to do all things in wisdom and knowledge not of the flesh but of the spirit. God uses vessels (you and I) to guide ourselves and others into making decisions so whether you are seeking counsel from others or giving counsel to others, you have to ask God for direction and guidance in the process.

In the book of Esther 3:1-14 there is a perfect illustration of ungodly counsel being given and applied. Haman who was promoted as the most powerful official in King Xerxes’s empire has a negative encounter with Mordecai who was one of the guards at the palace. Following his promotion, he was informed that Modecai was not following the King’s command to bow down to him in respect and obeisance. Driven by his rage of Modecai’s disrespect to him, he decided to that he was not only going to destroy him alone but all of Jews (his kinfolk) along with him. Without mentioning Modecai’s name, he asked for approval from the King to destroy the Jews which was instantly granted to him. As the story continues in Esther 5:9-14, the bible says that Haman took the matter home and decided to seek counsel from his wife and friends regarding Modecai. Without even seeking God’s wisdom or weighing the consequences, they advised him to “set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feet tall” and hang Modecai on it in the morning before the banquet at the palace. Since he was under the influence of pride, arrogance and anger, Haman carried out the counsel without any further consideration. At the end of the day, the bible says in Esther 6 & 7 that through the intervention of Esther (the new Queen and cousin of Modecai), the tables were turned. Haman ended up being hung on the same tower he had built for Modecai and all the Jews were saved from the evil he had planned for them.

I am not sure how closely you can relate to the story of Haman but the morale of the story is very clear. When we seek counsel from ungodly and unknowledgeable source, it is likely that its application would lead to the path of regret. You would agree with me that life is a journey which requires us to make many decisions. As the world around us changes constantly, we are forced in positions to decide whether to turn to the left or to the right, this way or that and whether to take the path mostly traveled or the one that is unpopular. Decisions that we make (good or bad) can have great consequences (good and bad) for us and others in our lives therefore; we must examine the path we take to arrive at it. When we are faced with a decision to ask for counsel (invite someone else in our lives or the situation), we must first examine our motive for seeking counsel and most importantly, the person (source) of the counsel. I strongly encourage you to seek advice from others because it is true that God speaks to us in many ways including using others to convey messages to us. I stated earlier that God gives us wisdom and since I am on the subject of God using vessels to speak to us, I would also mention that when we seek wise counsel, it helps us to increase in knowledge and wisdom.

God created us for a specific purpose and specific cause but we would not be able to fulfill His plans for our lives in the absence of good counsel. I would urge you to surround yourself with many advisors, just make sure they are godly, knowledgeable, full of wisdom and above all God fearing men and women. The book of Proverbs presents many scriptures that associate success in life to the quality of counsel one receives and whether or not one uses discernment in applying the knowledge acquired through counsel. I believe in surrounding myself with others who are experienced, God fearing, knowledgeable and mature to support me through my journey to destiny. I know who my source is but I draw strength from others he strategically places in my path to journey with me to the place of destiny. I strongly believe in the scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:12 which states: “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (NLT)

I want to share some tips with you to help you in your search for the right counselor, advisor, mentor and confidante. I make it a point to study the character and lifestyle of the people I consider counselors, mentors, advisors and confidantes. The uncompromising characteristics that I look for are centered on the person’s faith in God, his scripture, his commandments, his truth and the list goes on. Here are some things to consider when searching for a counselor, mentor, advisor, mentor and confidante. The person must be/have:

• Matured – have experience in dealing with life’s challenges not in their own wisdom but applying true faith in God.

• Integrity - allows the word of God to take precedence in his/her life and does not bow down to the whims of society or desires of the flesh. • Honest – would not compromise the truth for comfort but rather accept responsibility for their action and submit to the correction/conviction of the Holy Spirit.

• Knowledgeable – willing to seek the knowledge of the word of God and apply it in daily living. He/she will trust in the revelation knowledge of God and not in his/her own intelligence.

• Wisdom – operate in the Wisdom of God and not that of the world. He/she must be able to seek the knowledge and apply it in daily life. Additionally, I would ensure that they are seeking the wisdom of God through prayer for the situations that I seek counsel about.

• Understanding – able to depend on the wisdom and guidance from God and not lean on his/her own understanding or knowledge gained from society’s doctrine.

• Discerning – be able to depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide his/her decisions and not depend on emotions. I can count on him/her to pray/intercede for me while leaning on the Spirit through studying of the word of God.

• Humble – able to walk with a spirit of brokenness and total submission to the will of God for his/her life. This person must be a true model of walking in the obedience of God in all areas of his/her life.

Finally, I cannot forget to mention that the effectiveness of the counsel received largely dependent on its method of application. I want to leave you with a couple of nuggets to consider when applying counsel received. The first thing to consider is to pray about the counsel and test it against the word of God which means that you have to know scripture’s definition of good counsel. Secondly, you may want to weigh the counsel.

“Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm], But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory”. Proverbs 11:14 (AMP).

Additional Info

  • Article/Site Credits: I Am Woman of Purpose
  • Site Link: http://www.iamwomanofpurpose.com/blog/2016/2/20/examine-your-counselors
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