Today’s post comes from Alan Larson, Connect Group Coach at C3.
Today’s Reading: Proverbs 15
Today’s Key Scripture: Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”
Have you ever made a choice that you regretted? I am pretty sure that everyone’s answer to that simple question is YES!! Let me hear that answer again—YES!!! How many times do you and I have to face that question and answer over a decision or choice we made that in the end we ended up regretting miserably?
As a recovering addict, when I look back over all the decisions or choices I have made, I wish I had listened to the wise counsel I was being told. From my mother telling me “not to hang out with that buddy because he was no good…” (how true was that?) to the old guy in AA saying, “you need to just surrender and go to rehab because my life wouldn’t get any better doing the same ole things I was doing and looking for different results” (gosh- how that would have saved some misery). Or, hearing from a Christian brother telling me to “stay in God’s word on a consistent basis or I will derail in the near future.”(again – how true is that?)
Why is it so hard for us to listen to the wise counsel offered by people who know us, know what we are doing and going through and actually love us? Through my life’s experiences I have found a couple of reasons why you and I fail to listen to wise counsel:
It’s that same, ugly word all of us are so familiar with. All of us are born as prideful people. We do not like being told something by someone when we actually know how to do it better ourselves. How has that worked for me and you?
Proverbs 18:12 says, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
How true is that? If we tame our prideful ways, we would be that much closer to having a humble spirit.
2. LACK OF A MENTOR
Besides your parents (if you did), did you have someone in your life that you would honestly listen to and follow their advice? I know I didn’t on both counts!! Usually I listened to myself ONLY and I know where that got me. And even if you or I had listened to their advice, would you then follow their advice?
Again—first part of today’s verse, “Plans fail for lack of counsel…”
So how do you start doing things the right way? Glad you asked. Let me tell you…
3. START GETTING CONNECTED
That means getting involved in a Connect Group at church and start serving on a ministry team. For men, this means going to Warriors regularly and for the ladies, going to Sisterhood gatherings as often as you can. Surround yourself with Godly people. It will start making a difference in your life. Start sharing your hurts, habits and hangups when you get comfortable with your new group of friends.
4. START LOOKING FOR THAT MENTOR
The more you get involved the more Godly people the Lord will surround you with. Start listening to those people and one or two more will be placed in your life that you will be drawn towards. Develop friendships with those people and soon you will have a person that you can trust your thoughts and feelings with and you will begin to listen to their advice and wisdom.
5. START LISTENING AND DOING
This is the hardest part – maybe not the listening, but the DOING. You need to listen to their advice, pray about it and if the Holy Spirit guides you in that direction—DO IT! So many times I got great advice but didn’t finish the actual work part—JUST DOING IT! I can honestly say when I have done this, the results were more than what I could have imagined.
PRAYER FOCUS: God, we give you thanks for today and all the blessings you bestow on us. We don’t deserve any of this, but we are so grateful that you love us that much. I pray that we can finally realize how important it is to have mentors in our life to give us wise counsel in the decisions we are facing. I pray that you remove any pride that is keeping us from moving forward to become more like you. Give us the willingness and strength to start getting involved in church, connect groups, ministry teams and start developing relationships where we are genuine and honest. Place people in our path, Lord, that love us and are willing to listen to us and become a shepherd in our lives. Thank you Lord for starting a new work in my life and I know the best is yet to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.