Gaining Wisdom to Counsel

For most of us, counseling is neither easy nor comfortable. Shattered lives have a way of slicing our confidence as advice-givers, exposing the triteness of our answers. Understandably, you might be tempted not to get involved. Leave counseling to the "experts".

God Uses the Weak

The miracle of ministry is that God uses ordinary people to dispense divine gifts of mercy and wisdom, not in spite of our weakness, but because of it:

"We have this treasure [the indwelling Spirit of Christ] in jars of clay [frail human nature], to show that the surpassing power [which he works in and through us] belongs to God and not to us." (2 Cor 4:7)

Far from being a liability, a sense of personal inability is a fundamental qualification of Christian faith and service. Weakness puts you on your knees so that you can look up to the Lord. Proper training is has its place, but as everyday Christians act in dependence on the Spirit and in accord with the Word, God's wisdom often manifests itself in surprising ways. 

Gaining Wisdom

All the same, wisdom is acquired through practice. It grows out of intentional habits: always seeking to make the best decision among multiple valid options; reflecting on past outcomes and future possibilities before making choices. Observing the same in others.

Remember the old alphabet paper of childhood, the kind with bright blue lines that we wrote the A-B-C's on repeatedly? The Bible is like that. Scripture provides certain guidelines we must stay between to have legible godliness. Wisdom, however, is more like penmanship. You gain wisdom over time by carefully, constantly tracing patterns drawn by others. Eventually, a kind of "muscle memory" develops which is able to account for different circumstances and produce crisp words of counsel. If the Ten Commandments provide the basic letters of Christian life, wisdom writes them in cursive.


Heavenly Father, in whom subsides perfect insight and understanding, please grant and increase in me wisdom to give spiritual counsel. Not for my own glory, do I ask, but for Christ's pleasure and for the benefit of others whom you delight to bless. In know your means of imparting wisdom can be unpleasant, even painful, but I believe your promise that treasure gained is eternal. By your grace, in due time, I look forward to directing others in paths of godliness and peace. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus precious name, Amen.