August 28, 2009

Three Reasons to Get Good Advice

Written By Cary Schmidt

Isn’t it amazing how often people venture into major life-changing decisions without getting any outside, biblical advice. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Sometimes we fear that a counselor will have a private agenda and won’t counsel us honestly. At other times, we presume to know what our counselors will say, and rationalize it away without even talking to them. But the most common reason we don’t get advice is because we would rather not hear what we already know. Self deception is a scary thing—we would rather be wrong and fantasize that things will work out, than really build a good decision with plenty of outside, biblical advice.

God’s Word is clear—Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

God instructs us to bring in a multitude of counsellors on our decisions, but I find that many Christians sell godly counsel short—they don’t get the full picture of how valuable good advice can be. There are three huge dynamics in play when getting counsel. It’s not merely about getting a “yes” or “no” on a particular decision. It’s bigger than that, so let’s break it down:

1. Counsel helps define a right decision—this is the first and perhaps biggest aspect of getting advice—just determining whether a decision is right or not. I would never make a major decision in life without a team of people standing behind me saying, “Yes, that’s the right move!” It’s not about being unduly dependent upon others to make my decisions. It’s about having confirmation from the collective wisdom of a godly team of advisors.

2. Counsel helps to define the right process—we often miss this. It’s very easy to do the right thing the wrong way! Getting biblical advice is a great way to put a plan together. It’s not enough just to do the right thing—it needs to be done the right way, and a team of wise advisors will help craft a plan of attack that will give the right decision the right process.

3. Counsel helps to define the right timing—finally, it’s possible to do the right thing the right way, but at the wrong time! For instance, a young person might have found the right person and have the right plan for marriage, but the timing can be way off. Getting counsel is sometimes about waiting for God to prove the right time.

There’s nothing better than doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time! Getting godly, biblical counsel is about putting together this kind of decision. It’s a fail-safe way of finding and doing God’s will. Are you willing to hear what you don’t want to hear? Are you willing to define the right process? Are you willing to find the right time?

These three perspectives of counsel have proven helpful in our Senior High, College and Career, and Single Adult ministries. Perhaps they can be helpful if you counsel or teach others. Feel free to pass these concepts on to others as the Lord leads.