Have you ever been asked for advice?
Or perhaps circumstances have compelled you to offer advice to someone not asking for it; like your child, student, subordinate, friend, or family member. Either way, when it comes to right and wrong, what should differentiate a follower of Christ’s counsel from random thoughts? After all, many people who don’t know Christ have life experience. What’s different about godly counsel?
The answer: It’s the “non-negotiable” parts of the conversation.
As disciples, we’re to look specifically to God’s Word for “framing” life experiences. And when we recount those experiences to others, they should also be framed by God’s Word. For example, Paul wasn’t shy about his Damascus road conversion, but he didn’t solely rely on feelings and emotions to put it in perspective either. He drew from the words of the prophets and patriarchs to frame it. He was always tying points back to the scriptures. Consider his words:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”–Romans 10:17 NKJV
Whether it’s a feeling, a relationship, or an experience; look to God’s Word to interpret and process it. And when you give counsel, be sure to frame it according to God’s Word as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean you quote chapter and verse, but there should always be consistency with the principles of the Bible.
That’s when it moves from “I feel”, to “The Bible teaches…”