James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
The weight of a hard decision can sometimes be enough to leave you feeling immobilized and powerless. A few weeks ago, I remember lying on the floor for a couple of hours, staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what to do. I confided in a few close friends and a few family members to try and get some good advice. It’s amazing how different the responses were. Whose advice do I take? How do I know who to listen to, when they all love me.
Have you ever been faced with a hard decision and didn’t know what to do? You quickly find that everyone has an opinion. It can be difficult to navigate through all the noise and advice when you know the people offering the advice loves you and wants what they feel is best for you. James 3:17 gives a solid foundation for determining Godly wisdom from Heaven. It’s defined as “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
We know that we should always pray and seek God first. We also know that God places us in positions of community, so that we lean on one another for love, support and wise counsel. But what do you do when you are facing a big decision and you need answers, but you’re facing a mountain of uncertainty. When we don’t know who to listen to, we can measure the advice our loved ones offer to us against James’ biblical standards by asking if it l aligns with what God has inspired in His Word.
Suzie Eller leads us to these questions:
- Does this person stand to gain something if I follow his or her advice? (impartial)
- Does this counsel lead to God’s best for me, or God’s best in this situation? (good fruit)
- Does this person’s advice reflect the qualities I hope to have in my own life? (pure, peace, loving, considerate, submissive or obedient, full of mercy, sincere)
If the answer is “no”, cancel the noise. It’s tempting to take unwise counsel because it makes us feel good in the moment. It sometimes affirms what we want to do, even if it’s not the right thing. But is it wise? That’s what directs us, not feelings or an easier route. Continue to pray and ask God to help you recognize His voice and His wise counsel through those we love. Ask Him to help you act on His wise counsel and have the courage to cancel the noise of everything else. Take to heart Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”
Heavenly Father, I know you bring wise people into my life to show me the next step. Give me the maturity and insight to listen to what is wise and what reflects You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By: Min. April Carter