Tag Archives: spirituality

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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The Beauty of Vitamins and Minerals

Girl in hat running at sea beach

After sipping the last remnants of my green tea in hopes of stimulating a few more white blood cells into combative action against this cold, I began to think about today’s post. Jumping out at me were a few passages from Song of Solomon that revealed the clear connection between beauty and health in relation to vitamins and minerals.

Do you know that it’s the vitamins and minerals you consume that make the largest contribution to how you feel and look each day? Without certain vitamins and minerals, our complexion appears washed, we feel lethargic, our bones become brittle, our teeth turn yellow, and our immune systems are depleted of ammunition to combat illness. Many of us aren’t even aware of how to derive these healthy essentials through the food we eat.

Well, in the next few days this will all change.

Anticipating that you will become one bright eyed, radiant, energetic and healthy child of the King, I’m providing a list of all vitamins and minerals that your body needs, along with their corresponding food sources.

Many of us, including myself, often make the generalization that Song of Solomon is either about sex or the beautiful picture of Jesus’ intimate and passionate love for us as His beloved. However, the Holy Spirit really got my attention (almost in a humorous fashion) of the bits of dietetic truth lying within its text.

Let’s take a peak at what the Lord was showing me today through His word:

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice.” Song of Solomon 2:8-9

While reading this passage, the words ‘leaping’, ‘bounding’, ‘gazelle’, and ‘young stag’ jump off the pages as I realize this Holy Pursuer is in incredible shape. I think it’s very important to pay attention to the detail here in this scripture. Is the Lord not setting an example of the strength, vigor, and good health that we as human beings should possess? Is this not a great depiction of stewarding the body well? I deeply believe the Lord calls us as His beloved to a life of excellence. If the Pursuer were munching down on double-stack Oreos and a bag of Cheetos (empty-calorie foods), I’m not sure the term ‘young stag’ would be appropriate, nor would there be a whole lot of leaping going on.

Wouldn’t you agree?

If we’re out of shape and poorly fed, lacking necessary vitamins and minerals, we can’t endure the road ahead. Whether it’s a physical journey or a mental marathon to reach a long-term goal, we rely heavily on our bodies to support the load. If we’re deficient in the nutrients our bodies need, EVERYTHING slows down. It’s amazing just how important good nutrition is to our systems.

Now, look at this next description the Lord planted within His word concerning women:

You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.Your teeth are as white as sheep, recently shorn and freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.Your lips are like scarlet ribbon; your mouth is inviting. Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.” Song of Solomon 4:1-3

You know what word comes to mind after reading this passage?, Well-kept. This woman is well-kept; she takes care of herself, and it shows. If her regular beverages of choice consisted of sugary colas and iced tea, those teeth would be yellow like butter, rather than white as sheep. I know: I’ve had to get mine bleached because of my over-indulgence of coffee. This isn’t knocking coffee, but this does show that what we ingest reflects in our complexion, our hair, our nails, and our figures.

Ladies, we as women are bearers of beauty. There is a desire, planted deep within our hearts, to grace the world with our radiance and to be called ‘pretty’. And we all feel beautiful when we take care of ourselves. You know that feeling when you drop a few pounds or get a French pedicure just in time to wear your new dressy sandals? Yes, we all do. It feels good. But we, as women, do have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and, in addition to that, to take care of our families. We are the ones who nourish our household. Eat well, beloved. Consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals, and I promise you will feel much better about yourself through the grace of Jesus Christ.

So, what vitamins are essential to the body and where can I get them?

I would strongly suggest that our primary source for proper nutrition be through food rather than supplements. Allow a supplement to do just that – supplement healthy food consumption, rather than being the primary source.

There are a total of 13 vitamins that your body needs each day, either as water-soluble (easily flushed through system) or fat-soluble (needs fat for absorption; stored in fat). Due to the length of the content, we’ll take a look at 4 of these vitamins today and cover the remaining vitamins in tomorrow’s post.

Vitamin A – Fat Soluble

Functions in the Body: 

  • Promotes healthy vision
  • Aids cell differentiation & protein synthesis
  • Aids reproduction & growth by encouraging sperm development in men and normal fetal development in women
  • Aids the immune system
  • Can serve as antioxidant when derived from beta carotene

Food Sources:

  • Dark, leafy vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, kale, and mustard greens
  • Rich yellow or deep orange fruits and vegetables such as : sweet potato, mango, and carrots
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (low fat preferred)

Vitamin E – Fat Soluble

Functions in the Body:

  • Acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals (anti-cancer agent)
  • Boosts the immune system to specifically fight off invading bacteria and viruses
  • Helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them (stroke prevention)
  • Repairs damaged body tissues and scars

Food Sources:

  • Vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils are among the best sources of vitamin E
  • Corn and soybean oils also provide some vitamin E
  • Nuts (such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and, especially, almonds) and seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also among the best sources of vitamin E

Vitamin C – Water Soluble

Functions in the Body:

  • Acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals
  • Used to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal
  • Improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods
  • Helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease

Food Sources:

  • Citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruit) and their juices
  • Vegetables such as red and green peppers,  baked potatoes and broccoli
  • Other fruits such as kiwifruit (twice as much as oranges), strawberries, cantaloupe, and tomatoes

 Vitamin K – Fat Soluble

Functions in the Body:

  • Required for normal coagulation (clotting) of the blood
  • Essential for formation of healthy bone through synthesis of osteocalcin, matrix Gla protein, and protein S, which are thought to promote bone formation and maintenance
  • Essential for the synthesis of sphingolipids (critical fat) to form in the myelin sheath (outer wrapping around a nerve) in order that the brain and nervous system function properly.

Food Sources: 

Vitamin K1 is found in green plants and vitamin K2 is found in animal liver, curd and cheese, and fermented foods.

  • Green leafy vegetables (turnip, mustard, and collard greens; bok choy, spinach, swiss chard) should supply 40 to 50% of the total dietary intake of vitamin K
  • Vegetable oils, olive, canola, soybean and cottonseed oil
  • Egg yolk, butter, cow liver, certain cheeses, and fermented soybean products

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of a few essential vitamins for today. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post that will include the remaining 9 vitamins our bodies need to be strong like a gazelle and beautiful with hair flowing like the hills of Gilead.

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.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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