14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:14 – 15)
Theme: If not You, then Who?
Yesterday we discussed the need to create an environment that is conducive to getting advice. Today, as we conclude our discussion of the Discipline of Counsel, we will focus on creating the right environment to give advice.
Just as was the case for receiving advice, I learned a powerful lesson about giving advice on a course. The teacher claimed that if you could convince someone of one important thing, you could deliver positive or negative feedback to that person and they would be likely to accept it. Having made this claim, the teacher then shared an incident that he was involved in where his advice to a friend was that the friend needed to go to prison for a crime the teacher had seen him commit. The teacher said that because he could convince his friend of this one important thing, the friend took his advice without animosity. So, what is this one important thing? Convincing the person you are giving advice to that you genuinely care about them. This might sound obvious but the truth is it is very hard to convince others that you genuinely care about them. We are often suspicious of motives, for good reason. We expect that people are looking out for themselves. If you can create an environment of genuine care and compassion you have created a healthy environment for giving advice.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this lesson because it is Biblical. Our passage for today includes these powerful words, “speaking the truth in love”. If we can master this, we have the platform for providing counsel, even if it is not pleasant advice.
Please read the short passage above and the context below and then respond to the question.
Context and Question:
- Context: There are valid reasons whey we shouldn’t rush to be counsellors. However, the Discipline of Counsel only works for the body of Christ if believers are prepared to give advice. We can’t encourage believers to seek advice if there is no one to provide advice.
- Question: How would you assess your contribution to advancing God’s kingdom by being a “speak the truth in love” counsellor to others?