We all need advice at times. Confusion is something we all experience and uncertainty is a part of life. It’s a part of the faith-producing process.
Let’s get this straight. Before anyone, we should seek God through prayer and meditation on the Word. True wisdom comes from God alone and He says to His children, ‘Ask and it shall be given to you.’ He promises to provide us with what we need to draw closer to Him.
We also know that God speaks through people to provide godly counsel. We often have this yearning to share our frustration, pains, and worries. We quickly run to friends to pour out our hearts and to receive feedback. We want guidance to help us walk on the right path.
The problem I often see is people asking the wrong people for advice. This can be pretty dangerous.
As Christians, our one true source of authority is the Bible, the Word of God. This helps us recognize truthful teaching apart from false teaching. God cautions us to be careful not to be led astray by false teachers.
In the same way, when we seek counsel from others, we need to be wise in choosing whom to seek it from. A lot of times, we are very lenient in asking for advice from friends or acquaintances, simply because they are friends and there is a certain amount of mutual respect and liking and even trust. I would say that is not enough.
When dealing with important matters, be wise about seeking counsel. Do not ask a fool to lead you. The blind cannot lead the blind. It sounds a bit harsh but think about it. If you have questions about business, you go to a successful business man because he has the experience and the credibility. If you have questions about relationships, you go to someone who has a successful relationship/marriage and not someone who has a bad track record of failed relationships and flings. If you have questions about true intimacy with God, you seek out someone who has much integrity and humility and with abounding fruits of the Spirit visible in his life. Makes sense, right?
So when we seek not just counsel, but godly counsel, we should ask ourselves a few questions:
Consider the history of the person in relation to the issue at hand. Does he have experience and not just experience itself but good experience with the issue at hand? Is his history with the matter, one that you respect and admire? Consider the character and heart of the person. Are the fruits of the Spirit evident in his life? Is his life kingdom-centered and God-honoring overall? Does God-fearing spiritual maturity flow out of his heart?
Let us consider the history and character of those we seek godly counsel from. It would be unwise of us not to.