WISE COUNSEL

Leader Thoughts

The Importance of Seeking Wise Counsel

Sometimes people make decisions they later regret because the counsel they heeded was ungodly. It is critical that we know how to discern what is wise, biblical advice. Here are suggestions to help you detect whether or not guidance is scriptural.

1. Look for counsel that makes frequent reference to God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.

If you need guidance but receive advice that neglects or contradicts the principles of Scripture, the best thing to do is seek input elsewhere.
2. Think twice if there is much talk but no prayer. Even with a great exchange of ideas and human wisdom, it’s essential that someone propose, “Let’s ask the Lord to give us direction.” A prudent advisor knows that prayer is a vital element in attaining the whole counsel of God.

3. Avoid any counselor who compromises Scripture by bending the standards God has set for His children. People will sometimes say things like, “Nobody’s perfect, so a tiny bit of gossip [or gambling, or a little ‘fun’] here and there won’t hurt.” Such rationalizing can quickly lead to bondage.

4. Beware of counsel that is quick to criticize the church or its spiritual leaders. An advisor who readily discredits the church because of its visible weaknesses may be someone hiding a hurtful bias. Such people may have an agenda that is quite different from the Lord’s plan and perspective.

Remember that living within each believer is the Counselor Himself (Isa. 9:6; John 14:26), and He wants to help with all our decisions. Trust Him in everything.

HOME GROUP GUIDE

OPENING

Who are the people how have made the biggest impact in your life, good and bad? What influence would you contribute to them?

SCRIPTURE

Say something like: This week on Sunday we look at how Esther took wise counsel from her cousin Mordecai. Because she took this advice she was in the right place at the right time to save herself and her people. We also see how Haman took poor counsel and it led to his destruction. In our small group we will examine what God’s word has to say about having wise counsel.

Read Psalms 1:1-6

1. In verse one we see three different postures. What can we learn from these and what to avoid?

2. What does it mean for us to delight in the Law of the Lord? Does this still hold up today? 3. What can we learn from the analogy of the tree in verse three?

Say Something like: Ultimately we understand that all wise counsel comes from God and he has given us His Holy Spirit.

Read James 3: 17-18

4. How do we know the difference between God’s voice and our own when it comes to difficult situations in life?

APPLICATION

Do you have wise counsel in your life? Do you listen to them?

Do you continue to make some of the same mistakes in your life over and over? What does this tell us about where we are seeking wisdom?

What do we do if we have people speaking into our lives that are not wise counsel?

PRAYER

Scripture tells us in James 1:5 if we ask for wisdom that God gives generously. Let’s take time to ask for wisdom in each one situation.

Children Conversation

How do we talk with our children about having friends that are good influences in their lives? How do you encourage your children to be good influences in others life?