Tag Archives: advice

The Value of Wise Counsel

Wise counsel is a topic that stirs up a deep and vibrant passion within me. Because wisdom equips us to reject mediocrity while cultivating quality in our lives, I am convinced that Godly wisdom is the greatest indicator of how well one’s life will be lived.

Of course, this implies that one has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ invites us to accept a new life in Him, and the wisdom found in God’s word is what teaches us how to live out this new life.

Wisdom found in God’s word invites us into God’s way of thinking. 

Let’s see what the Word has to say about wisdom:

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and discipline (implying we must seek it in order to gain it); for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion (good judgement) to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning (implying humility is wisdom, since one who is wise continues to be teachable), and let the discerning get guidance —for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

I’m not sure about you, but I want everything that wisdom has to offer: the discipline to do what needs to be done to reach my goals, the ability to understand words of insight, and the discernment to know what is right and wrong in this whirlwind of chaos called life. And I want to avoid senseless mistakes.

How is wise counsel related to wisdom? Wisdom comes from the Lord. Counsel is advice given to one person by another. Therefore, wise counsel is the advice or insight given to another person that is based on God’s truth. In order to be wise, counsel cannot be based on the limited understanding that man possesses. Instead, it must come from an infallible God who knows and understands all things. If the advice you’re receiving does not align with Scripture, then I would strongly encourage you to reevaluate your sources of insight.

What are sources of wise counsel in one’s life? The first source should always be the Wise Counselor. And I would encourage you to always go to Him first. Wise counsel can also come several different sources: the Word, your pastor, a mentor, your spouse, a close friend, a parent, or a therapist. Just make sure that whatever advice you receive is based on the Truth, because the Truth (not opinions) is what sets us free.

Let’s take a stroll through the Word to observe God’s take on this issue:

1. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs12:15

We need to be quick to seek insight from Godly counsel. It can save us from major heartache down the road.

2. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

Humility is a prerequisite for receiving insight from others. Pride tells us that we already know everything and don’t need to listen to anyone.

3. “He walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

If you want to be wise, find wise people and spend time with them. You will learn a ton!

4. “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Wisdom causes us to reevaluate how we spend our time, our money, our relationships, and our efforts.

5. “Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs15:22

If we lean on our own understanding and refuse to seek counsel when faced with a dilemma, then we often end up making poor choices, especially if we lack experience. There is power in humbling ourselves and seeking help.

6. “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs15:31

We are wise when we allow people to confront us with God-given truth, even if it hurts.

7. “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23

Wisdom must be in the heart (the wellspring of life) before it can be spoken through the mouth. We must pay attention to what people are advising us to do. And we need to carefully observe how they live their lives.

8. “The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

When used by the Lord, wise counsel has a way of exposing the deepest issues within us. I often refer to this as purging our souls.

9. “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

A wise person individual will heed to Godly counsel and seek the appropriate response in different situations. A foolish individual will continue doing what they’re doing and suffer the unnecessary consequences.

10. “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Trusting in ourselves alone is dangerous. We must seek His counsel and truth to direct our lives in order to dwell in safety.

May we all pursue lives of excellence with the aid of wisdom by seeking God first and being open to wise counsel from God-fearing advisers.

Application Questions

1. Who is the first person you often turn to when facing a significant decision? And is the counsel that you receive rooted in truth?

2. Can you think of two to five people in your life that can provide wise counsel? Who do you know that studies and applies God’s word in different areas of life (e.g. financial, marriage / relationships, parenting, therapy / counseling, ministerial / vocational decisions, and managing others)?

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Secrets to Wise Dating

Dating image

I have many single friends. Beautiful, intriguing, and creative single friends.

They often look to me as a source of “wisdom” when it comes to this whole dating idea. Maybe because I’m married – very happily married. Or perhaps because anyone who knows me well also understands the gruesome pain I endured as my former spouse walked out of our marriage and into the arms of another woman.

In the aftermath of that pain, the Lord guided me into making exceedingly wise decisions in evaluating what it would mean to date another man. In particular, the need to examine my own heart emerged during this time, requiring tremendous humility. Praise be to God that this humility is available through the grace of Jesus Christ.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I learned a lot. And I finally saw the red flags, the ones my young nineteen year old heart ignored because I was set on being married. In the past, Jesus wasn’t included in my love life. However, today He is my love life. This is the single biggest difference between choosing a healthy, sustainable relationship versus settling for less.

Today, I am speaking solely from my heart. These are my opinions about dating relationships. Ideas that were birthed through prayer, scripture, and my own personal experiences. Thankfully, God equipped me with the wisdom to make some great choices, which I am abundantly enjoying the fruit of today. Here are a few points of wisdom I have developed through my own journey concerning dating:

1. Get healed. Focus on inner healing as preparation to offer 100% of yourself, rather than looking for someone to fully complete you. Have you endured a traumatic experience in your past (divorce, death of a parent or sibling, any form of abuse and neglect, unhealthy romantic relationships, porn addictions, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.)? We all generally have something we are dealing with.

If we haven’t allowed Jesus to fill the voids within us, then the person we date will soon become our “temporary fix.” Almost like a savior of sorts. This is dangerous territory that quickly spirals individuals into unhealthy habits. People cannot heal us; Jesus heals us. Marriage cannot complete us; it compliments us. Marriage is a full-time ministry. Any issues that remain unsettled before you wed will undoubtedly peak up their ugly little heads, demanding countless hours of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere.

Get with Jesus and get your life together before you involve another person. This is loving and very wise.

2. Know what you want before you set out for it. Proactively list out the things most important to you (and to Jesus) in your future companion. Don’t date anyone you could not marry.

Months before I even knew Keith, Jesus and I sat together and wrote out my “non-negotiables.” These were the very characteristics that we (Jesus and I) felt were most important in my future husband. I trusted that if God welcomed this activity (of planning in faith), He would be faithful to provide the man that would possess them. And He did. Here’s what I originally wrote down concerning my future husband:

The Non-negotiables

    • He must deeply love Jesus.
  • He’s open to global missions and enjoys travel.
  • He’s respectful and kind to his parents (especially his mother).
  • He’s committed to working in excellence and being a provider.
  • He’s trustworthy (doesn’t lie) and transparent.
  • He’s open to learning new things (being disciplined and challenged by Christ).
  • He would treat me extremely well (zero-tolerance for abuse, referring to me in profane words, or belittling me as a woman).

What’s most important to you? And what’s most important to Jesus?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

3. Date with the intention of being married. We can often hear dating described with terms such as courting, becoming more than friends, seeing each other, going out, or going steady. No matter what words are used, the implication is that an intimacy will be developed between two people. However, if you are not really ready for commitment, then what’s the real motivation behind pursuing an intimate and romantic relationship?

In my opinion, “social dating” without leading to commitment is an absolute waste. A waste of time, emotions, financial resources, mental space, and the very heart God faithfully entrusted to you. Shouldn’t we be faithful stewards (managers) in every area of our lives? Here are four steps I would suggest to anyone that is serious about seeking a committed relationship:

  • Know what you want beforehand and begin praying for the person. This immediately establishes ‘Jesus as Lord’ over the entire relationship.
  • Establish a solid, respectful, and maturing friendship long before you pursue a romantic relationship in courtship.
  • Before you become an official couple, engage in honest and open dialogue. Seek to understand the other person’s intentions and motives in desiring a relationship with you. Never make assumptions in this area, beloved. Then seek to understand the Lord’s intentions with the relationship (individually and through praying together).  Remember, God will never misdirect you if you are actively including Him in your relationship. He will tell you to continue pursuing it or to walk away. Even if it hurts, we must listen to Him. It will save years of devastating heartache.
  • Surround yourself with a loving and God-fearing community. It’s extremely wise to have friends and family that will hold you accountable in your relationship. Actively surround yourself with people who have healthy and mature relationships.

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

 

Photo provided by: welovestyles.com

 

 

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The Value of Wise Counsel

Image

Wise Counsel.

A topic that stirs up great passion within me.

I am deeply convinced that Godly wisdom is the greatest indicator in how well one’s life will be lived. This of course, is implying that one has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ invites us to accept a new life in Him, and wisdom teaches us the ways in which we’re to live out this new life.

Wisdom invites us into God’s way of thinking. And the human mind naturally gravitates against it. This is why it must be sought out like a rare treasure. Wisdom holds incredible value and it needs to be diligently pursued. We are not wise on our own. It is God who is the Wise Counselor and we need His insight.

Wisdom rejects a mediocre life, and invites one of high-quality sustenance. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to settle for mediocre. As I embrace my role in this holy dance, I diligently pursue His counsel. In return He provides me with the insight to live an amazing life.

Let’s see what the Word has to say about wisdom:

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and discipline (implying we must seek it in order to gain it); for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion (good judgement) to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning (implying humility is wisdom since one who is wise continues to seek after advice), and let the discerning get guidance —for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

I’m not sure about you, but I want everything wisdom has to offer: The discipline to do what needs to be done to reach my goals, the ability to understand words of insight,  and the discernment of what is right and wrong in this whirlwind of chaos called life. And I want to avoid senseless mistakes.

Let’s define wise counsel. Wisdom comes from the Lord. Counsel is advice given to one person by another. Therefore, wise counsel is the advice or insight given to another person that is based on God’s truth. It is not a wisdom that is based on the limited understanding that man possesses. Instead, it is from an infallible God who knows and understands all things. If the advice you’re receiving is not scripture-based, then I would strongly encourage you to evaluate your sources of insight.

What are sources of wise counsel in one’s life? Great question. The first source should always be the Wise Counselor. And I would encourage you to always go to Him first. Wise counsel can range from several different sources: The Word. Your Pastor. A mentor. Your spouse. A close friend. A parent. A therapist. Just make sure the advice is based on the Truth, because it’s the Truth (not opinions) that sets us free.

Now, let’s take a stroll through the Word to observe God’s take on this issue:

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15

We need to be quick in gaining insight from Godly counsel. It could save us from major heartache down the road.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

It takes humility to receive insight from others. Pride tells us we already know everything and don’t need to listen to anyone.

“He walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

If you want to be wise, find wise people and spend time with them. You will learn a ton!

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Wisdom causes us to evaluate the way we spend our time, our money, our relationships, and our efforts.

“Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

When we lean on our own understanding and refuse to seek counsel when faced with a dilemma (and lack any experience on the current situation) then we can often fail by making poor choices. There is power in humbling ourselves in seeking help.

He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31

We are wise when we allow people to confront us with God-given truth, even if it hurts. 

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23

Wisdom must be in the heart (the wellspring of life) before it can be spoken through the mouth. We must pay attention to what people are advising us to do. And we need to carefully observe how they live their lives.

“The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

Wise counsel when used by the Lord has a way of bringing out the deepest issues within us. I often refer to this as purging our souls.

A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” Proverbs 24:5-6

We need wise advisers when we’re faced with difficult decisions. I have learned to always seek insight when faced with uncertain challenges.

“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

A wise person individual will heed to Godly counsel and take the appropriate measures, while a foolish individual will keep going and suffer the unnecessary consequences.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Trusting in ourselves alone is dangerous. We must seek His counsel and truth to direct our lives in order to dwell in safety.

May we all seek after a life of excellency with the aid of wisdom.

As opportunities arise, may we all remember the value of wise counsel.

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

Edited by: Keith Becker

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