A hot post of a fellow blogger (find post here: http://sherry-annjacobs.blogspot.com/2011/06/friendly-chat.html) had me thinking about the ‘circle of friends’, a main source of advice and a good tool.
I’ll dive right in: the phrase was punned with the word ‘circle’ because who you let in as friends is not an open matter.
Of course, I’m eager to meet new friends and form relationships BUT do not hastily seek the advice of people outside of the circle. And by circle – I’m referring to like-minded people, wise people (just like your mother taught you). Seems strategic, it is. Otherwise, you will be confused, and you could expose yourself to disastrous ‘help’!
Just as the academic, C.S.Lewis, said
“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”.
Other specific people who may not be in your circle of friends per se, are the exception: parents (by instinct, you’ve considered them as advisors if you’ve grown up in a typical family), your pastor (really concentrate when your pastor speaks – this person has been given the authority to give you wisdom), and other mentors whom you have choosen – be selective. Oh, that’s my point: selection!
How do we choose who to take advice from? When married, let God and your spouse be the only two involved in personal matters. You don’t want the Scott family’s rules applied in the Jacobs’ home – chaos! And you also don’t want your personal business laying on Main Street. When husband and wife disagree, or if you two are both unsure, then consider bringing in a common mentor or counselor, eg. your Pastor.
Don’t run to a fourth party for every quarrel either. Pray for a discerning spirit, so you know when to seek the advice of others.
In any case, there aren’t many things I hate more than women bad-mouthing their husbands/boyfriends/family/friends and calling it ‘sharing’.
Above all, God is your first point of authority. Should you need advice, seek it first from God (James1:5). In many cases, he will send you to someone, or someone to you, whom you can count on (don’t you love how well orchestrated God’s plan is!?).
If you continue to seek His advice first, and His word – you will start discerning junk from worth too. We hear advice all the time, even when we switch on the TV or flip through a magazine: chuck out the worthless. Teach your sprit to absorb the truth.
Whoever speaks into your life should back it up.
Someone who has been divorced 12 times may not be the most reliable when you’re trying to figure out how to reap a life long marriage! In other words, check their stats! Make sure even your Pastor’s advice is backed up with the word and experience. The bible (in 1 John) speaks of false Prophets that we should test to see that they are from God!
Wrong advice can cause your downfall. Really. Don’t take my word for it, here it stands: