Squinting Through the Fog
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God. . . and it will be given him—James 1:5
God knows what’s right in every circumstance. We do not. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12). And yet, God installs us as decision-makers nonetheless. He intends us to struggle through—and answer—tough questions throughout our lives: Should I take the job? Should I marry the girl? Am I becoming the man God intends me to become? How should I deal with pain and fear and temptation? Tough questions, indeed. Huge implications.
King Solomon was an epic decision-maker. God told him, “I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12). Fortunately for the rest of us, Solomon passed along some of that God-given wisdom, in the form of the Book of Proverbs.
For tough questions, Solomon wrote, we must look first to God (Proverbs 3:5-6). One way to do that, since he empowers us as agents of his wisdom, is actually to look to our brothers in Christian community (Proverbs 11:14; James 5:19-20). Wrote Solomon, “a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). Counsel from other men is one of our most powerful tools. We needn’t use it for every question. But, for the toughest ones, we must.
Okay, so what do we do?
Gather some men—two or three, at least, probably not more than five or six—who know you and with whom you’ll be transparent. Plan for an hour or two. Describe your situation—the question, the background, the possible courses of action. Ask them to discern with you, not to judge. Encourage them to ask questions and help you search for wisdom. I bet you’ll be surprised before the end.
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