Life is really just one continuous series of decisions, but we are not left to figure all this out by ourselves. God has given us directions for wise decision-making and promises of His divine guidance if we’ll listen to Him. The Lord also provides other people who can help us when we don’t know what to do. But we must be cautious because not all advice is beneficial. Our goal should always be to seek godly counsel that will aid us in discovering God’s will.
The goal in seeking wise counsel is to find someone who will tell us the truth based on what God says in His Word. Last time, we looked at these 10 red flags. But here are some more warning signs you’ve gone to the wrong person:
Some advisors may want to give us an out. But escaping our problems and pain might not be what God desires. He may want us to walk through them to teach us valuable lessons we’d learn no other way. Instead of looking for a way out, we should become so centered on God’s Word and devoted to His will, that we want whatever He desires for us, even if it’s painful. Sometimes the answer we seek is not found in running to someone else for guidance, but in letting our knees drop to the floor to ask God what He would have us do.
Some counselors are seeking our approval. This is a problem that happens when friends try to please us by telling us what they think we want to hear.
A check in our spirit reveals unsound counsel. When we walk in the Spirit, He gives us inner warnings (checks) if we’re heading in the wrong direction, thinking the wrong way, or making a wrong decision. If this happens while we’re confiding in someone, we should stop, knowing it’s a warning from the Spirit.
Some people counsel in a way that is profitable for themselves. But the best counselors are those who truly care for us and seek to do what’s best for us without regard for what they get from it.
Sometimes a counselor may become inappropriately involved with the counselee. This can even happen in a church or with a pastor. There must be appropriate barriers in counseling.
An advisor may project his own hurts and disappointments on the person he counsels. Our problems may bring the counselor’s hidden issues to the forefront.
A counselor may unload on the person seeking help. Soon the session becomes about his problems instead of our problems.
We should not go to an unbeliever for godly counsel. Someone who doesn’t know God or believe in His Word will never be able to give godly advice.
Going to an ungodly counselor can result in many undesired consequences: We might make the wrong decision; we might be deceived; or we could be controlled by the counselor. Bad advice can also cost us financially and relationally, as well as cause us to make decisions that violate God’s Word. Not only that, but we might also find ourselves turning away from trusting God and turning to trusting a person instead. So keep an eye out for the red flags and be sure you’re getting the kind of godly counsel that will lead you in the will of God.