Push Through Barriers By Seeking Wise Counsel

Here we are, one month in towards building our best year ever.  If you have any weaknesses in the process, or problems in your path, they are probably starting to reveal themselves.  If you have the wisdom and discipline to make it through, that's awesome. But if you are frustrated with troubles and feel powerless to press on, fear not!  When you have the humility to Seek Wise Counsel, and the knowledge to do it correctly, success stays right on track!

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"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel" Proverbs 12:15.  Okay, first of all, don't be "that guy."  You know that guy.  He thinks he is always right and rarely listens to others.  And when he does listen, he isn't willing to actually take advice.  Now, I get it.  I'm Type A and like to do things on my own.  But it is foolishness to miss out on the incredible wisdom God has placed around me in the form of other people.

 

Have you ever asked God for wisdom?  Yeah, me too.  James 1:5 clearly teaches us that God will provide direction if we seek it.  But the passage doesn't tell us exactly how.  Certainly the Word will be our first source. But in addition to Passages, God also uses Providence and People to help us learn the right path to growth and faith.  If that is a path you are ready to explore, here is a checklist for how to Seek Wise Counsel.

 

Admit when you have a problem you cannot solve.  By all mean, try to solve it.  Research and try three times to fix it.  But after that, you and I must be the kind of people who admit:  "Someone in my life knows more about this  than I do.  I need their help."  This is actually a big step for a lot of people.  But I'd rather be humble for a day and get the information I was missing that prideful for a year and still be in the same place!

 

Find someone you trust who can actually help you.  As we discussed in the episode, there are a couple of things going on here.  As you will see shortly, a big part of this is your ability to be open and honest with this person. So, you need to choose someone you trust.  Not only do you trust that they can keep the conversation in confidence, but also that they are wise and experienced in the area where you need guidance.  As we said in the podcast, you can't ask your grandma about everything.  Lots of people have answers to questions, but few people have actual solutions to problems.  Go to someone you perceive to be a friend and an "expert."

 

Pour out your bucket. Don't hold anything back.  As a preacher, I can tell you that it is incredibly frustrating when people come for help, but aren't willing to be honest.  It is impossible to advise someone if I don't have all the information.  So you need to choose someone who is willing to listen to you.  You need to see a person who asks you questions and lets you tell your story. But remember: you actually have to tell it.  The true and honest version. Only then can the other person see you clearly from their point of view.

 

Then it is time to listen.  Really listen to someone tell you about you. You might find this to be an odd experience, but it is therapeutic in its own right. After sharing your story, you must quiet the mind and mouth and let the person tell you what they see.  If they are truly trustworthy and knowledgeable, they will be kind and honest with you about how your situation looks from their outside perspective (a perspective you do not have).  Listen as they tell you about how it looks, and listen as they tell you how their experiences connect with yours.  So many people come to talk, but fail to listen.  Listen.

 

And last of all:  actually try the things suggested.  There comes a point in a counseling session, officially in an office, or sitting at Starbucks, when the person says, "If I were you I would..." or  "Here is probably the best thing you can do right now."  Sadly, most people say they want advice but actually just wanted to talk about themselves and hear the other person talk about them. That's all important.  But if you leave having done nothing more than spoke and listened, you haven't experienced change.  If you trust this person, and you believe they understand you... take action.  When their experience and knowledge trumps your own, let them lead you.  At the very least, give it a wholehearted try, so you can report back to them later.

 

If the person cares about you and takes the time to help you, don't forget to thank them.  And thank God that He put someone in your life who selflessly commits to and cares about your wellbeing.  What a blessing!

 

Thank you for supporting our program.  If you believe this blog can help someone you care about, be sure and click a link on the right to share it on social media or email to friends. Have an amazing weekend! And always remember: whatever you choose to do today in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, excel still more. 

 

Excel Still More with Kris Emerson

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