Every day, life throws many choices our way. To make wise choices (especially on big and difficult decisions) we should always pray AND seek wisdom from trusted advisors. The Bible says clearly that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)” Obviously, having good “advisors” is important, but with so many voices competing for our attention, how do we know which ones to listen to?
2. Listen to those with YOUTH & PASSION: You need the wisdom of the old, but you also need the passion of the young. Jesus spoke often about how God has exclusively revealed certain wisdom to “children”. The perspective of those who are young and full of vision and vitality will often challenge you to leave your comfort zone and pursue new challenges. Wisdom without action is pointless and young advisors will often push you towards action.
3. Listen to ENCOURAGERS: We all need a “Barnabus” in our lives; we need someone to come alongside and encourage us on the journey. This world has a desperate shortage of encouragement, so be an encourager and surround yourself with people who will be an encouragement to you. They will be like Caffeine for your Soul.
4. Listen to CRITICS: You need a Simon Cowell! Nobody wants to hear this, but we should listen to criticism. Give the most attention to constructive criticism from those who love and support you, but also consider the grain of truth that might be found in hostile criticism. As Rick Warren says, “Even a broken clock is right twice per day!” Abraham Lincoln surrounded himself with critical advisors who challenged him and very often disagreed with him, and those tense dynamics created one of the most successful presidencies in our nation’s history.
5. Listen to those who LOVE YOU: The best advice will usually come from those who have no agenda other than loving you and wanting what is best for you. They’re the ones praying for you and the ones there for you in life’s ups and downs. Your spouse, parents, children, siblings and closest friends will usually hold this place of honor as your most trusted advisors.
Take all the advice you receive, pray over it, see how it lines up with the unchanging Truth of God’s Word, and then take the best course of action. If you succeed, Great! If you fail, then you’ll just have some good, hard-earned advice to share with someone someday!