The following article contains excerpts from
Stanley, Charles F. “10 Ways to Detect Ungodly Counsel”. In Touch Ministries Blog. 26, Jun. 2018. https://www.intouch.org/Read/Blog/10-ways-to-detect-ungodly-counsel
The book of Ruth is once again an example of the grace of God and how His ultimate purposes outweigh man’s plans. Today we will take a blunt view and different perspective than what most commentaries and sermons often depict the story of Ruth and Naomi. We will use the points to teach us and remind of God’s providence and sovereignty.
- Elimelech and family disobeyed when they went to Moab to flee the famine.
- Naomi’s suggestion for Ruth’s security would be best attained by finding a husband, in Moab, and not return to Judah.
- Naomi’s purpose to solve a problem was meant to be done in secret with no witnesses, but yet had the potential for numerous witnesses suggesting Ruth go to the threshing floor.
- Naomi’s plan seeks to appeal to Boaz’s instincts not his higher sense of duty.
- Naomi’s plan bypasses and excludes the nearest kin, giving preference to Boaz.
- Naomi’s scheme needlessly puts the reputation of two godly people at risk.
- Naomi’s plan wrongly implied Ruth needed to take the initiative in this matter of redemption and secure the marriage, as though Boaz would not have done so on his own.
- Naomi’s plan seems to assume that the end justifies the means and does what’s right in her own eyes.
List taken from Cutting Corners: Naomi’s Under Cover Operation- bible.org
Question- In what areas do you relate to Naomi as she took “the wheel”, instead of letting the God be the driver?
Thanks be to the sovereign Lord and His greater plan, Naomi’s advice did not backfire and both Ruth and Boaz responded in a godly way and their character was not compromised.
Question- Has there been a time in your life where you clearly saw the grace, sovereignty and providence of God save you from bad counsel or bad decisions?
The giving and taking of advice can be a wonderful thing….or a disaster. Naomi’s advice was well-intentioned, but wrong. The following are some pointers to help determining what makes bad advice bad and good advice good in light of the Bible as a whole.
- Advice should not be done lightly or in haste. James 1:19
- Advice must be based upon principle not subjective feelings. Prov 28:26a, Jer 17:9
- Advice should not be given to avoid suffering, but on doing what’s right.2 Cor 4:17-18
- Advice does not urge one to look out for his self, to avoid personal pain and adversity but to act in a way that benefits others. Phil 2:4, I Cor 13:11
- Advice should not urge others to stray from the course of action believed to be the will of God, but instead encouraging to stay committed. Heb 12:1-3
- Advice should never hinder the gospel, but promote it. Rom 14:8
- Advice does not limit the sovereignty and power of God. Rom 15:13, Eph 3:20
- Advice should encourage faith in God and his ability to work through opposition and suffering. I Peter 1:21, I Peter 1:7, 2 Cor 5:7, 1 Peter 1:5-9
Advice on Giving Advice: Christians should give much less advice than they do. And if they do advise people only when there is a clear biblical principle underlying the advice.
How to detect bad counsel and some red flags:
- Unwise counselors make little or no mention of God and based on what they think not what God thinks. Is 55:8-9
- There is an absence of prayer and not considered very important. Eph 6:18
- They rely on their own senses not the Scripture for guidance. Ps 119:105
- They may suggest actions that are not scriptural. Prov 16:2, I John 4:1
- May be critical of Christian leaders or godly people. I Tim 5:17, I Thes 5:13
- They suggest reading material that may not agree with the Scriptures. Ps 1:1
- Sometimes people give advice according to what they think you may want to hear. 2 Tim 4:2-5
- Bad advisors seek to control the one counseled or create a sense of dependency.
- Avoid counselors with an ungodly lifestyle.
List compiled from- 10 Ways to Detect Ungodly Counsel- Charles Stanley In Touch
Questions to ponder-
Who do you go to for advice?
What areas of life do you seek advice?
When is seeking advice not beneficial?
Praying for you,
Laura Rawden, Mentor Mom