A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. Proverbs 1:5
Who do you listen to? Who influences your decisions? Who do you seek counsel from?
I don’t necessarily mean a formal professional counseling (although these guidelines will work for them, too). We all go through seasons or experiences when we need a little advice, direction or encouragement.
Scripture encourages us to seek out advice from others and nearly all the characters in my books do at one time or another. (These mentors often prove difficult to write because if a character asks a tough question… I have to figure out the answer before the mentor does.) Whether in real life or in fiction, here are four things to look for in a counselor.
1. Godliness – Choose a person with a deep, committed walk with Christ. If they live out godly principles you can trust that the advice he or she gives will help not only help you resolve things in a way that honors God, but one that will point you toward a deeper relationship with Him.
2. Maturity – I want spiritual maturity, a tested faith, someone with some life experience behind them. That doesn’t mean our life experiences have to mirror each other, but I want to know the person has weathered some storms.
3. Compassion – A good counselor hurts with you, and sometimes he or she will hurt for you. They share your heart.
4. Humility – None of us knows everything, and a good counselor isn’t afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Rely on someone who will help you seek God’s face when those answers just aren’t there.
What else would you add to the list?