Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The power of having wise counselors

Lately I have been struggling with some big decisions in my life. I have begun the process of getting wise counsel and chatted through my decisions with over a dozen people so far. This has caused me to be very thankful for the wisdom of friends and counsellors in my life.

Life is filled with decisions. Each decision we make effects our direction, our habits, our character and ultimately our future, our impact and our destiny. Every decision matters, no matter how large or small. Some decisions are obvious and we have a natural inclination to follow them and on these we have no real need to bother our friends with asking their advice or getting their feedback. BUT... there are several kinds of decisions we we desperately need wise counsel from outside ourselves, here are a few.

Decisions where our hearts are likely to deceive us. These are probably the most important decisions to get wise counsel on and probably the ones we are least likely to go and get it. Humans have a tendency to skew reality in favour of our desires. This can be disastrous and cause us to do really stupid things. If there is any possibility that you might be deceiving yourself it's really, really important to get wise and honest counsel. (And even be careful of only listening the the counsel you want to hear.)

Decisions where we have made poor choices in our past. The likelihood of learning a lesson without outside help just because of your learning from life experience is slim. Those of us who like to solve our problems by ourselves will struggle with this one. Again, finding trusted people who have our best interests at heart and who have wisdom is extremely important.

Decisions where others have pieces of expertise that would really help us make a better decision. Sometimes better information makes for better decisions. Whenever you know someone who might have that information go ahead and ask them. They will likely feel honoured that you asked and you will increase the likelihood of making a better decision.

Decisions where the stakes are really high. The higher the stakes, the more sense it makes to get wise council before launching out.

Decisions where the primary impact of the decision will be toward others and not yourself. It is not only important but it is also kind to invite others to have input on decisions that will dramatically effect them.

In any case, having wise counsel and lots of it, is a huge factor in making great decisions and making great decisions is a huge factor in just about everything else in life.

By the way, the best counsellor I know of is God, it is great to check with Him before making most decisions. He doesn't replace the need for other counsellors, He is just the best one of them. In fact, sometimes He counsels us through wise counsellors, but that is all more likely better discussed as the subject of another blog.