Recently a young man called to ask my thoughts on a particular opportunity for transition that had been offered him. He had not sought it and it was a total surprise. That in itself distinguishes it from so much self-promotion of our times.
We discussed God’s purpose for his life’s mission and how this opportunity would affect that; the pros and cons of how this would affect his family’s future; and whether or not this would be a good organization with which to identify (I have learned from a past mistake!). We also discussed the wisdom others might bring. He made a “punch list” of people to contact. At the conclusion of the second interview, the interviewer said, “You have done your homework well and asked great questions. This just confirms our initial thought – we want you.”
Proverbs 11:14 affirms, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall: But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (NKJV)
Although this was not in what we would consider the field of “professional ministry”, there are applications. The same truths exist for the “professional” in Christian ministry. Do you factor in the wisdom of others as God leads you to think, to pray, and to make decisions?
I have one in my life that does not always tell me what I want to hear. But I always respect what he says. I know several things of him. He knows me, he loves me, and he does not try to control me. His desire is to see God’s best at work in my life. I never make major decisions without consulting with him. He once gave me some counsel that his father (a pastor) had given him concerning life changing decisions. I wrote it on a napkin and still have that napkin. I want to share it with you.
“God never leads through doubt.”
“Doubt never means ‘yes’.”
“Never make decisions when discouraged.”
Do you have a mentor? Are there those trusted people in your life who are wise and will speak the truth in love into your life? We need them. We need the “balcony people” who cheer us on and encourage us, but we also need the counsel of others, stern though it may be, in order to accurately discover the path God has for us.
That is a God-centered approach to life and decision-making. Man did not create that need in us; God did. From Genesis to Revelation God’s people lived in community and in that community the wisdom of the elders was respected.
If you do not have these kinds of mentors in your life, find them. You need them. Left to ourselves we will miss the best God has for us. Left to our impressions, we will convince ourselves we are bullet-proof. We need the wisdom of Godly mentors.
By the way – the young man seized the opportunity!