We are all counselors. Christians and non-Christians alike, in every word and deed, provide counsel to another of either righteousness or wickedness. Though not everyone holds a master’s degree or Ph.D., all Christians are empowered by the Great Physician. The process of becoming well trained in our righteous counsel comes from studying the scriptures, and ultimately deeply knowing and loving the Mighty Counselor.
WE POINT OTHERS TO LIFE WHEN WE POINT THEM TO JESUS
Christians in a private counseling office, standing behind a pulpit, or sitting in a pew alike are in the process of being redeemed. Since redemption is a lifelong process, no one has arrived yet, thus all are responsible for pointing one another to the trust and true way to Life: because we all alike desperately need Him.
We point others to life when we point them to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:16). This is practically done by living out of our identity in Him: walking in humility, service, unconditional love, grace, forgiveness, and submission to the Father’s will. Leading others in right counsel also includes an uncompromising resolve to proclaim the truth.
Paul David Tripp states,
“The central work of God’s kingdom is change. God accomplishes this work as the Holy Spirit empowers people to bring His Word to others. We bring more than solutions, strategies, principles, and commands. We bring the greatest story ever told, the story of the Redeemer… This is the work of the kingdom of God: people in the hands of the Redeemer, daily functioning as his tools of lasting change.” (Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, 35)
What counsel are we providing to others; furthermore, what are we doing to equip ourselves to provide righteous counsel to the glory of God?
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 ESV)
The Psalter contrasts taking wicked counsel to delighting in the Lord and His law. The contrast here provides implication that those who dwell amid the Word of the Lord will provide right counsel, or live and speak in a way that glorifies God. The more we know, love, and treasure His Word in our hearts, the more we are conformed to His likeness and are further able to point others to the Redeemer Himself, who changes hearts.
The prophet Jeremiah was a righteous counselor; though, he did not speak words that the people wanted to hear. Jeremiah spoke the truth, and in contrast he classifies those that merely spoke whatever the people wanted to hear as false prophets, preaching peace, peace, when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:13-14).
The prophet Jeremiah provides example that providing righteous counsel may not mean acceptance or popularity, but it does mean Life. Through the Holy Spirit, the Word dwelling within us, we are equipped to counsel well, and that means with Truth in the way of righteousness, leading to eternal life.
While Job was suffering, he received counsel from his friends, and despite their good intentions, they were not counseling him with truth, but rather in deceit as they insisted his suffering was on behalf of his sin. Their ignorance to God’s character proved them worthless counselors, not leading Job in the way of Truth but rather leading him from it.
“As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all.” (Job 13:4)
Let’s not be like Job’s friends, but be counselors of righteousness and truth, pointing to the glory of God in our every word and deed. Everything we do provides counsel to another, and as saints our duty is to live and speak in such a way that counsels others in the way of righteousness. The more we let His Word and His presence impact our hearts, the more we will grow the fruit of righteousness: leading others to see and savor the Lord as most glorious.