The phone rings and it’s a number that I recognize, it’s a young family in our church, so I pick it up and a conversation ensues. “Pastor, we need to speak to you, it’s important. Can we meet face to face?”
I respond, “sure, what’s going on? Are you OK?” He replies back, “yes, we are fine we just need wise counsel. Since you’re our pastor we want to do exactly that, get wise counsel.”
A few days later we meet in my office and after a bit of small talk the husband starts the conversation as his wife looks on, “Pastor, we love you, we really do. We value your opinion and want to make sure we bring you in on this very important life decision.”
Both the man and his wife began to share what was on their hearts. After listening for about fifteen minutes it became obvious to me this life decision to which my wise counsel was needed, was no longer needed. You see, the decision had already been made.
You may be wondering why one would ask for wise counsel only to have already made the final decision. Well, after years of seeing this movie repeat I can certainly share my opinion on the matter.
Here are 5 of the most common reasons:
- It’s not that your wise counsel does not matter; however, the idea was so good they figured you would think it was a great idea as well. This is more about keeping you in the loop.
- It is more about getting your blessing, not your counsel.
- Accountability is not high on the priority list.
- There is a pattern of making quick decisions.
- Friends and family have said it sounds great. So, it must be great!
A good friend of mine said to be me once “your enemies will stab you in the back; however, a friend will stab you from the front.” When we ask for something we need to have the courage to actually listen to the wise counsel BEFORE a life decision is made. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:15 (ESV) “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Before selecting a person to give you wise counsel consider the following three things: (adapted from Stephen Davey)
- Does the wise counsel you are seeking violate your conscience?
- Does the counsel contradict scripture?
- Does the counsel hinder your commitment?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, the counsel should not be heeded.
Each of us needs a multitude of counselors. We must never be hasty in making decisions. Make it a point to surround yourself with God fearing men and women who will challenge you, speak the truth to you in love and point you to the word of God.
Until next time,