“Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand” (Proverbs 19:20-21, New King James Version).

I observed how two friends faced decisions in their lives. The first plunged ahead, neither asking for nor accepting advice, human or divine. The decision was based on personal desire and money. The second friend approached her situation with caution and prayer. She also sought counsel from family and trusted, godly friends. While I don’t yet know the ultimate outcome in either situation, it’s easy to see which has the better chance of a positive ending.

What we consider a “small” decision may actually change the course of our life. Rushing ahead without first seeking guidance through prayer and godly counsel can lead to disaster. There is wisdom in knowing when to respect the advice given, even though it may not seem important or logical.

Here are some things to consider when making a decision.

What does God’s Word say?

If the Bible expressly forbids it, we already have our answer. No further counsel is needed. (Read Psalm 119:105.)

What do counselors say?

A course of action may not be sinful, but neither may it be wise. That’s why it is good to seek counsel from your pastor or a godly friend. (Read Proverbs 11:14.)

What do circumstances say?

Not all open doors are God’s will. Or sometimes a door is temporarily closed because the timing is not right.

What does common sense say?

Does the matter seem reasonable? Remember, if something is God’s will, He will provide the way for it to come to pass.

Someone noted that it takes true humility to seek godly counsel. We should never be afraid to ask for, and receive, wise counsel.

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22, English Standard Version).

Prayer: Lord, help me to always depend on Your Word and the wise friends You have placed in my life when I need to make decisions. Help me to not rush ahead in making a decision but take time to search Your Word and pray for wisdom. May I always be open to Your counsel and the counsel of trustworthy friends. I never want to step outside Your will and the plans You have for my life.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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