Many of my precious sisters in Christ seem so hungry for advice from other people. I have noticed that a lot of women want someone to tell them specifically what they should do in a situation. But this can be so dangerous!
I have been down this road myself – the results were not good.
I broke up once with Greg (for 3 miserable weeks) when I was 18 largely because I assumed that other people had more wisdom than I did and I gave their advice more weight than my own thoughts. But they are not the ones who have to live with a decision in my life. I am responsible for my decisions. I can seek godly advice, but ultimately – I must live with my own choices.
The truth is:
- You alone are accountable for your decisions to God.
- The people from whom you may be seeking advice may not know God well or know His will for you.
- Worldly advice can be destructive and toxic.
- Many people will be happy to give you advice – but the advice may be awful advice – it may be the opposite of God’s wisdom.
- It can be tempting to put the advice of other people and their human wisdom above God and His divine wisdom.
- A mature believer in Christ may be able to point out sin in your life or may be able to point you toward biblical principles upon which you can build your life but they don’t know God’s specific will for you – unless He has given them a revelation.
- It is easier to go to people and get quick advice than it is to wait on God and fully yield to Him in total submission and trust – but easier doesn’t mean better.
- Only God really knows the future and only He knows what is truly best for you.
It is unwise to go to all the people in your life, sharing your problems, and letting them give you advice. If you only go to wise, mature believers in Christ – that may be productive to a degree. They may give you biblical wisdom. But even then, no one can know exactly what God desires you to do in any given situation. If you are tempted to sin, a believer could show you, “No, that idea goes against God’s commands.” But when it comes to decisions that are not about sin – only God knows His will for you.
- Does God desire you to speak to that guy at work or not?
- Does God want you to take this job or that job?
- What boundaries would honor God in your relationship with men?
- How would God like you to dress in order to be modest and to show respect for Him, yourself, and others?
- Do you have impure motives about a decision?
- Does God want you to go to college or take another career path?
- Does God want you to confront your controlling mother in a specific way and at a specific time?
- Does God want you to get back together with that Christian man who broke up with you?
- Does God want you to take a break from dating and just focus on your relationship with Him for a time?
- Are you supposed to wait on God right now and do nothing in a difficult situation you are facing – or charge ahead and take initiative?
We are prone to make two mistakes:
1. to be too passive and do nothing when God is calling us to action.
2. to be too controlling and charge ahead when God is calling us to wait.
Both of these tendencies get us in trouble!
Only God knows the plans He has for you. He is able to prompt you and nudge you as you are abiding in Him. It is His voice you want to learn to listen to, not the voice of other people. Even if you seek a godly mentoring woman or your parents – prayerfully consider what they say, but then seek to obey God’s voice, His Word, and His Spirit.
If you are a young woman still at home under your parents’ authority – then honor their authority over you and seek to obey them if they are not asking you to sin (Eph. 6:1).
But, in general, if you are a grown woman living on your own – seek God and His voice alone. Seek God’s principles. Learn His wisdom and eternal principles from Scripture – but depend on Him daily for His guidance and leading in the details.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Learn to be still before Him, to spend serious time in prayer and Bible study each day, wanting to know Him more than anything in your life. Ask Him to change you and to give you great faith. Ask Him to make you like Jesus. Ask Him to show you any sin so you can turn from that and live in freedom and holiness for Him. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and His power.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”