Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wise Counsel

Proverbs 17:27-28 (NIV)
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.

The older I get, and the closer I get to the Lord, I realize that my "2 cents" is really not worth much. I used to think my "2 cents" was worth $2,000! I also got upset if others did not "get it" when I gave it. That in turn caused me to go "off at the mouth" even more than I did when I gave my opinion. Discernment? I thought I knew it all, but come to find out, I was just blinded by my perspective. With that came judgment and criticism.

One day I heard a sermon that talked about the difference between giving your opinion and giving wise counsel. I do not remember who the preacher was, but the message sure had a huge impact on me. I really don't remember details about the message, except that one major difference between giving your opinion and offering wise counsel is that you don't give it unless you are asked. People really do not want to know other people's opinion. They are usually stuck in their own opinion! At the point at which they ask for your opinion, that's when they care and will receive it better.

Another difference I have found between giving your opinion and giving wise counsel is that much prayer goes into the latter before it is delivered: prayer that asks God to give you a perspective check in your own heart as to why you hold that view and what motives go along with it; prayer that asks God to show the other person's perspective and anything about his heart; and most importantly, prayer that seeks God's perspective and discernment. Even if you do not know about the situation before you are asked to give your opinion, you can pray on the spot if you are supposed to give it and what you are supposed to say.

When this happens, what you have to say will be worth so much more than $.02 or even $2,000, because it will be God's words and love coming through you! You will not care about the credit, because you know where the wisdom came from. I say often to those who come to me for counsel, "I cannot heal squat! I can only take you to the only ONE who can!"

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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