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.
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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