I heard a pastor speak today about knowing God’s will and something he said struck me as being significant. He addressed two questions.
- Should we seek advice or counsel?
- Should we give advice or counsel?
As I’ve said before, I think using precise words is important because words can carry significant meaning. Just ask my husband who is often the recipient of my questioning, “Do you mean abc or did you mean xyz?” Precise words matter to me because they carry different nuances. So when the pastor talked about the difference between advice and counsel, I noticed.
His idea was that we should not ask other Christians for advice when we are seeking to know God’s will. Instead, we should ask them for counsel by asking, “What do you think the Bible teaches about my situation/choice?”
So that got me to thinking.
- Do I offer advice or counsel?
- Do I point people to my own wisdom or do I point them to the wisdom and principles of God’s Word?
Ouch. It’s easier to rattle off our own “wisdom” than pull out the Scriptures and help someone think biblically through a choice.
So this was a helpful sermon for me. I’ll be trying to put this into practice and ask God to help me be a better counselor when opportunities arise.