Chapter 7: A Man and Counsel
Today we continue with the series of excerpts from my new book, A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines. Visit our web location for numerous additional audio, video, and print resources on the Spiritual Disciplines.
Suggestions for Pursuing Wise Counsel
Our minds are limited and fallible. They make mistakes, and that’s why we need counsel. Let’s focus on a decision you’re facing right now. You don’t know whether to go left or right. You don’t know whether you should stop or go backwards. I want to give eight practical suggestions to help you seek godly counsel.
1. Understand that decisions fall into two categories.
Every decision you make will be either a moral or priority decision. Moral choices are choices between right and wrong. When a man asks any of the following questions, he is about to make a moral decision:
- “Is it really that bad to fib a little when I calculate my taxes?”
- “Can I enter into a relationship with someone other than my wife without getting caught?”
- “Who will get hurt if I fudge on my résumé?”
- Priority choices are decisions between right and right. Here are two examples:
- “Should I invest in this stock, or in that stock?”
- “Which car should I buy?”
If you need counsel on a moral issue, go to someone with moral authority and knowledge. Seek counsel from people who know the Scriptures. That doesn’t necessarily apply if you’re making a priority decision. If you want to buy a good used car, you won’t seek advice from a pastor or Bible study leader—unless, of course, they are really smart about cars…
4. Choose your counselor based on your need for reason or passion.
Figure out whether you need to hear from the voice of reason or the voice of passion. If you are facing a moral decision, and you already know the right thing to do, you don’t need the voice of reason. You need the voice of passion. You need someone to encourage and inspire and motivate you to do the right thing. You need someone to say, “You can do this. You can make it happen.”
If you’re muddled and confused, and don’t know which way to go, you need the voice of reason. Analyze your situation, so you know what kind of person to choose as your adviser.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.