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Seek Wise Counsel in Life

1024 585 Paul Luna
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I have begun a new writing journey this year and find much joy in it. Consequently, I enjoy writing so much that it has led me to write articles for Medium.com, where I share information on various personal interests. Writing an article is similar to writing a sermon in many ways, but it’s not exactly the same. To enhance my skills, I’ve contacted established writers and publishers for seeking wise counsel. This pursuit of wisdom aligns with the seven basic disciplines of the Christian life taught at our Church and is a trait God encourages us to develop.

The Pursuit of Wisdom

I have been a pastoring since 2002, and it’s been my privilege to teach our Spiritual Leadership class for four years. One of my favorite lessons has been on seeking wise counsel. Additionally, I’ve worked at six churches, been on the board of two nonprofit organizations, partnered with five para-church organizations, and observed some of the best leaders in action. And you know what I have learned? Good leaders seek out wise counsel from other good leaders who have sought out wise counsel. Therefore, why don’t we take a page from their playbook and see how it could impact our lives?

Proverbs encourages us to long for wisdom, to crave it as one does a precious treasure. We read, “If you cry out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:3-6). With  each new understanding, there’s always more to explore and integrate into our lives. Furthermore, Solomon advises, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you” (Proverbs 4:5-6). Also, Proverbs 8:11, 17, 19 says, “For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her… I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me… With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.”

The Importance of Listening for Wisdom

Today, everyone has an opinion, and very few would ever want to admit they don’t have all the answers. It would be revolutionary if people were honest and realized they don’t know everything. Proverbs reminds us that humility is the fertile soil where wisdom grows (Proverbs 1:22, 8:5-6, 36). But it starts with first acknowledging our limits, opening ourselves up to learning, and thus genuinely gaining real understanding.

Despite our culture’s infatuation with the ‘self-made’ individual, nobody starts with all the necessary knowledge. Somewhere along the line, someone with influence gave them advice that propelled them forward. Proverbs values the counsel of the wise (Proverbs 1:5), teaching us that our understanding deepens when we share in the wisdom of those who have gone before us. Their insights act as guideposts, helping us navigate paths they have already walked.

Wisdom in Practice

Mill City Church seek wisdomWhen Kimmy and I were younger and had much younger children, the two of us learned the value of “Turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—” (Proverbs 2:2, NIV). At that time, one of our children suddenly became deathly afraid of frogs and no longer wanted to sleep in their room. We tried everything to convince them that there were no frogs in their room that were going to harm them. I even went into their room, stomped around, and proudly declared that I had popped all the frogs and that the room was clear. It did not help alleviate my child’s fear.

It wasn’t until Kimmy spoke with a more experienced mother that we received wise advice and found a solution. The two us were told to put our child in a sleeping bag on the floor next to our bed. Then, we moved the sleeping bag closer to the child’s bedroom each night until they returned to bed. Three nights later, our child happily slept in their bed, and my wife and I could put away our frog-popping stomping boots. Acknowledging our limitations and being open to learning are the first steps towards true understanding. But wisdom doesn’t come overnight. We learn it by seeking it out from others and through a lifetime of experiences.

The Role of Humility in Acquiring Wisdom

The quest for understanding is not a sprint; it’s a marathon with no finish line in sight. Solomon values the pursuit of wisdom above material wealth. He advises, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:10-11). This pursuit is a continuous journey where each piece of knowledge is its own reward that pays dividends over a lifetime.

Every challenge and every failure is a learning opportunity, not a defeat. Proverbs 1:23 shows that setbacks are merely the groundwork for cultivating real wisdom. These experiences, though difficult, are like a blacksmith’s process, shaping and strengthening us in adversity to be stronger and wiser.

How to Seek Wise Counsel

To help you seek wise counsel, let me give you a few key next steps to ensure you’re on the right path:

  1. Pray for Guidance: Start with prayer, asking God for wisdom and guidance in seeking counsel. This foundational step ensures that your heart and mind are aligned with God’s will and open to His direction.
  2. Identify Wise Individuals: Look for people who display wisdom in their lives and decisions. Seek out those who have shown sound judgment and godly character in various aspects of their life, whether personal, professional, or spiritual.
  3. Be Open to Various Sources: Wise counsel can come from sources like pastors, mentors, trusted friends, or family members. Recognize that wisdom can be found in diverse places and experiences, and be willing to listen to those who may have different perspectives.
  4. Consider Counsel in Light of Scripture: Weigh advice against Biblical teachings to ensure it aligns with God’s word. It’s crucial to filter all counsel through the truth of the Bible to maintain spiritual integrity and direction.
  5. Seek Multiple Perspectives: Don’t rely on a single source; gather various viewpoints. Picking a range of opinions can provide a more comprehensive understanding and help make a well-rounded decision.
  6. Reflect and Discern: Reflect on the advice received and discern the right action. This step involves thoughtful consideration and prayer, combining the counsel received with personal intuition and understanding to make a wise decision.

Practical Application of Wisdom

True wisdom is not just in knowing but in doing. We all know an extremely intelligent individual, yet they keep making the same dumb decisions repeatedly. They know a lot of information, but they don’t apply any of it in their life. Wisdom is the practical application of what we’ve learned. As stated in Proverbs 8:32, “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.” When we act on our understanding, we transform it into living wisdom that changes our lives and those around us, allowing us to reflect the goodness and wisdom that comes from God alone.



Paul Luna

Paul Luna is a pastor, husband & father of four in Oregon. He's passionate about faith, family, & community, he enjoys painting, hiking, & tech.

All stories by: Paul Luna