40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 30 – Counsel

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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?

6 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 30 – Counsel

  1. I would say that I have been much more consistent at “speaking the truth” with or without love. This means of course that on many occasions I have not been compliant with the biblical injunction which states that we should always “speak the truth in love”. With spiritual maturity I have been learning to be more consistent with what the word of God says.

    However, there have been many times when I spoke the truth in love and the counsel was not embraced and on other situations when it was heeded. Unfortunately, if good counsel spoken in love is not heeded, the person or persons who failed to listen to the counsel will be negatively impacted the most and the consequences of not taking the counsel spoken in love will be more obvious as time goes by. However, since “no one is an island” several persons usually feel the negative impact of the poor decision and this can worsen over months and years.

  2. This is such a timely lesson for me. I need to address a situation that I believe will be painful for the person that I must speak with, because of that I have delayed and is the one suffering the pain.
    I need to know that if when I move forward in love and obedience, I must leave the results with the Lord.

    Thank you my brother for sharing all these profound lessons that helps us reflect on the great love the LORD has extended to us. I remember this song “After all He’s done for me, (rep). How can I, but give Him my best and live for Him eternally, after all He’s done for me”, (words might be off- but the idea is there).

  3. The assessment is the outcome. God told Israel that they would know who true prophets were if what they prophesied came to past. I think this is similar if we share godly advice and the recipient takes action then they should have peace in the journey and the outcome.

    I’m sure it was hard to be imprisoned. But it was likely made easier because the one jailed knew the counsel was good and given in love.

  4. I really try to give advice with love but it does not always work.
    Love or not a person told me it was unsolicited advice.

  5. I don’t know how to asses my self in this regard. I know I’ve tried to counsel others and speak the truth in love , but I also know that there were times, my being so honest and willingness to tell the truth hurt others like my loved ones or friends really close to me. Sometimes the truth can also be offensive….some people find the Bible offensive because it’s full of truth. Humility is vital in both giving and receiving counsel and advice. It’s important to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to be with you in situations such as receiving advice and counseling others.

  6. For me, “speaking the truth in love” is a double-edged sword, like the Word of God , as far as my counselling others and advancing the kingdom of God. Why? Simply stated, I have a very compassionate, caring and kind heart and sometimes I find it difficult to say what I have to say if I think it might hurt someone, yet ironically, at times I will “lay the cards straight” unflinchingly. The latter could act as a hindrance to advancing God’s kingdom as people might not benefit from what could have helped them spiritually. There should be no problem with my counsel acting like God’s Word, that double-edged sword that cuts deeply yet heals at the same time.

    I often say I wish I could do like Jesus who never minced His words but lashed out the unadulterated truth: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like white washed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness . . . You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Matthew 23:27-28 & 33.) In my opinion, Jesus did not sound loving on this occasion but His message was out of love as He wanted those hypocrites saved! My gentle spirit, counselling in love, has its place and is sometimes very effective but I honestly think I could follow Jesus’ method/example in this particular context, on a few occasions, all for letting them see exactly how they are and that they need to change for God’s sake!

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