Seek Wise Counsel From God, And Also Others!
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What Does It Mean To Seek Wise Counsel?
In friendships, we seek wise counsel with each other. It is good to make yourself available to help a friend in need, but it sometimes can be a matter that can backfire. I went through a divorce many years ago and learned that when we ask friends to help us, it can sometimes be overwhelming and strain the friendship.
Below are some ideas to consider when counseling a friend, acquaintance, or even a family member. Often it is very costly to see a counselor, so here are some things to consider when you counsel each other. Talking about faith can be threatening to another person, but without God, you may put on a temporary bandage, but in the long run, their lives would not be transformed compared to if you invited God to be a part of the solution.
I would suggest that you talk it over with them to see if they are willing to invite Christ into the counseling/helping formula. This approach may or may not be suitable for each person. But without God involved, at best, you could put a temporary bandage on any problem.
- Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
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Why Would Somone Seek Wise Counsel From You?
- Start by inviting your friend or acquaintance to open up to get to know one another, ask questions about their life and where things are going today. Have them explain what they mean when they refer to themselves as Christian or non-believer? Instead, we search for the fiber of a believer’s walk. Is there abundant evidence of a submitted life in Christ that defines the person as a child of God?
- John warned: (1 John 4:1-3). Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
- Listen carefully as the person describes their problem. Be aware of their attitude toward God and sin. Do they express evidence of godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10), or do they grieve only because of the personal consequences they are experiencing? Ask if they believe that with God’s help, the answer they are looking for can be found. If your friend needs more help than you feel you can give them, then have them seek counsel.
- Ask the person questions that require a biblical response. You will discover if they have any relationship with God. For example, if the person is talking about getting a divorce without biblical grounds, you can ask them: “What do the Scriptures say about what you are considering doing? What does God’s word say about divorce?
- Do not offer anything other than Scripture. Biblical counseling, even for unbelievers, is designed for eternal outcomes, not temporal relief. The counselor must not offer a psychological substitution to the truth when salvation is at hand.
- It is good to interact with non-Christians. The Lord came to those in need of help rather than those who felt they did not. Many of these pre-believers know that I’m a Christian; I do not so-called “hit them over the head with the Bible.” But preferably with compassion knowing that years ago, I too was a pre-believer lost in this world abusing drugs and alcohol. I would be a hypocrite to talk down to anyone. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace. Sometimes pre-believers come to me on my website asking questions and seeking advice. There is a different way of approaching those who don’t know God’s Word.
About Unbelievers (I prefer using the term “Pre-Believer”)
- A pre-believer does not understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).
- They may perceive spiritual stuff as dumb (1 Corinthians 1:18).
- Some could be easily offended by Christianity (1 Corinthians 1:23; Psalm 119:165).
- Pre-believers are not enabled, empowered, or illuminated by the Spirit of God (John 16:12-15).
- They have no context or ability to experience sustainable change by God’s Word (John 17:17).
- Those who do not believe are living under the Father’s wrath (John 3:36).
- Some pre-believers could be a mocker of the Word of God (2 Peter 3:3-4).