Choosing Counselors


I have begun to think of all the counselors that I have had over the years.  When you think of counselors, your mind is probably drawn to people you pay to get their advice like myself.  When you think from that perspective, many of you have never paid for counseling so your answer would be zero.  Others have had one or maybe a handful over your lifetime so you would answer differently.

But there is another kind of counselor or advisor that I am thinking about.  These individuals come into our lives and give us advice whether we are asking for it or not.  They are friends who have opinions on our relationship issues and give advice as to what we should do.  “Tell him to go to h_ _ _!!”  “Don’t take that from her!!”  “You should go to that party!”  “He’s dropped you so go out and date and don’t waste your time on him!!”  “Don’t wear that outfit!”  “If I were you this is what I would do!”  “You’d be foolish to take that job!”  Drop her!!”  “Drop him!!”  We have heard these opinions from our friends and family over the years.  Thousands of opinions about what we should say or what we should do.

There are advisors that are speaking out on various kinds of issues in the schools and in churches.  Those speaking to us are advising us as to what we should do and what we should be.  It can be good advice and it can be bad advice.  Everyone has an opinion and many are free to give their opinion even if they don’t have the best advice or have all the answers.  Opinions on what we should do or be comes freely in every direction throughout our life whether we want it or not.

Heres the big question.  How do we evaluate the best advice from the bad advice?  Stop and think about this question.  Who are your counselors and advisors you are listening to?  What experience and expertise do they bring to the table in helping us make the right decisions for our life?  Do they know both sides to make wise and beneficial input to our circumstances?

The reason for my thinking about this subject came when I was reading in the Old Testament of the bible and came across a couple of kings who had advisors advising them in leading the nation of Judah.  The first King was Ahaziah.  “He (Ahaziah) walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother gave him evil advice.  So he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight like the house of Ahab, for they were his advisers after the death of his father, to his destruction. II Chron. 22:3-4  It sounds like he had a father who had been giving him good advice, but when his father died, he listened to his mother who was evil and gave him evil advice.  Yes, bad advice can come from some of the closest people in our lives, even our mother.  (Now I’m not referencing all mothers as my mother is one of the wisest woman I know).

Another king I was reading about was Joash who was 7 when he became king.  He led Judah for 40 years and had a wise counselor by the name of Jehoiada, his priest.  “Throughout the time of the priest Jehoiada, Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight.” . . .  “However, after Jehoiada died, the rulers of Judah came and paid homage to the king.  Then the king listened to them, and they abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and served the Asherah poles and the idols’  II Chron. 24:2, 17-18.  Joash had a wise counselor for many years, but when Jehoiada died, he turned and began to listen to others who were bad advisors to his detriment.

On this journey we are always choosing who we are going to listen to.  There will good advisors as well as bad advisors that come into our lives.  Keeping our focus on the Lord will help us in discerning which is which.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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