|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Seek wise counsel”
This morning I want to take us back to our discussion from a few days ago regarding the ways in which God speaks to us. One of the most important ways is through the counsel of wise Christians. Pastors, counselors, and mature Christian friends can be an invaluable source of guidance – especially when we’re depressed and perhaps not thinking clearly for ourselves.
The story is told of the famous Saint Francis of Assisi. (He was the founder of the Franciscan order of monks and he was famous for his humility and servanthood). At the beginning of his ministry years Francis was struggling with whether or not to devote himself to a secluded life of prayer and meditation, or to engage in preaching, evangelism, missions, and service.
Although Francis was a deeply devoted disciple of Christ and very mature in his spirituality, he also knew better than to rely just on his own judgment, and he was very aware of the many passages like Proverbs 12:15 (above) which teach us to seek wise counsel before making important decisions. So, he sent letters to two trusted friends and asked them to pray about it, and to offer him their thoughts on the matter. Both of them, independent of the other, responded that Francis should be an active Christian rather than a secluded one. He took their advice and thus was born the Franciscan order (which is still active around the world to this day, almost 1000 years later).
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to try to figure things our for ourselves, or to make important decisions based on our own judgment. Another mistake I’ve often seen is when a Christian does seek counsel, but they seek it from those who are likely to tell them what they want to hear. (We see this a lot when a husband and wife think too much alike and then rely only on the counsel of each other. That’s very close to relying just on your own judgment).
We need wise counselors who can be depended upon to pray about the issue for us and then will give us straight talk about it, even if the answer isn’t what we want to hear. This is especially true when we’re struggling with issues which are causing us anxiety and despair. In such situations we’re almost never thinking clearly and we need good counsel from others.
I encourage you to seek wise counsel when you have important decisions to make, or when you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or despair.
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