How to Seek Wise Counsel…Who Should I Talk to?

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

 “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise”
(Proverbs 15:31).

Have you ever felt the need to seek wise counsel? Many times we may find ourselves in need of a person to share our thoughts with and receive direction based on God’s word. Each of us need someone we can turn to for advice when we are at a fork in the road. Begin seeking out wise counsel by taking the following steps:

Step #1) Pray for God’s guidance in finding the right person

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance” (Proverbs 1:5).

When we step out in faith and ask God to lead us to the right person, we must be careful about the packaging. Oftentimes we have in mind a particular type person whether it’s their socioeconomic status, racial/cultural background, or level of intelligence. These are the world’s view of finding a mentor, but not God’s. We know that God sees the heart of men and He isn’t impressed with their outward appearances. The Lord may very well lead you to someone of great godly wisdom without all the earthly fluff.

Step #2) Develop an awareness of those around you

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).

A good counselor or mentor is like the cream rising to the top. They are marked for their wisdom and insight over matters that cause many people to fail in dealing with issues in a righteous manner. A wise man or woman stands out because of their calm demeanor in the midst of troubling times. It’s not that they are endowed with superior spirituality, but rather the tests of life and time have taught them to confidently put their trust in Christ’s sovereignty.

Step #3) Test your relationship with time

“The king of Israel answered, “Tell him: ‘One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.’” (1 Kings 20:11).

A good mentor or counselor is marked by their agape love and compassion for God’s people.

A good mentor or counselor is marked by their agape love and compassion for God’s people.

The faithful followers of Jesus Christ will have battle scars on their spiritual armor. They know what it’s like to be in the darkest places spiritually and still move forward by the grace of God. Your choice of a mentor must be someone who has endured through the trials of life and yet has remained true to the Lord. They aren’t perfect, yet they are being perfected through Jesus Christ in their battles against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Step #4) Confirm with your counselor that they play this significant role in your life

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Great responsibility accompanies those who are the mentors in your life. Just as Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy, so your counselor may be the paternal or maternal influence in your life. It’s necessary for their spiritual growth to be aware of your need in their lives. They have to be ready to hear from the Holy Spirit and share God’s word liberally with you. It’s a position of honor that deserves respect because of the greater accountability.

What are the characteristics necessary for a mentor?

  • Knowledge (Proverbs 24:4) A good mentor is knowledgeable about the word of God and well acquainted with sound teaching. These men and women stick to the solid truths of God’s word and resist trends of “new” teachings.
  • Wisdom (Proverbs 10:14) A good mentor applies the knowledge of God’s word in their everyday interactions with family, friends, and strangers. Their lives are marked with the seasoning of careful reasoning and understanding.
  • Experience (1 Timothy 3:6) A good mentor must have life experiences that have proven his or her perseverance in the faith. Resist following after the advice of a new convert as they may need more time to mature in the faith.
  • Discernment (Philippians 1:10) A good mentor discerns what is good through the Scriptures and prayer. The Holy Spirit gives insight and direction through those who’ve submitted their lives fully to Christ.
  • Truthfulness (Ephesians 4:15) A good mentor will speak the hard truth to you in love. They want you to live righteously and avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.
  • Compassion (Colossians 3:12) A good mentor is marked by their agape love and compassion for God’s people. Their speech and actions towards all people reflects the love of Christ.
  • Integrity (2 Corinthians 1:12) A good mentor strives to live a life of integrity even when the world belittles their stance for what is right. They refuse to bow down to complicity and/or make excuses to justify themselves.
  • Reputation (Proverbs 22:1) A good mentor secures their reputation by making everyday choices that reflect the grace and mercy given to them by Christ. They make great efforts to reveal the influence of Jesus on their lives.

A Rare Jewel

Sometimes it may take a while to find a good counselor worthy of honor. Yet the Lord knows just who you need at the right time. He will grant you direction as you draw close to Him in prayer and meditation. As the Lord grows you up through wise counsel, you will realize the position of honor in leading others as well.

More reading: What is Biblical Counseling?

Resources – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

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