#GrowWise. The Wisest Counsel I’ve Ever Received


January 15, 2015

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Proverbs 15:22 (read the whole chapter)

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 


many counselors

I will always remember the counsel of Lee Covington, a close friend, at a most critical juncture of my life.

I was in the throes of studying law, grappling with my future and really wrestling with whether I was being called to serve the Church in full time ministry.

From the outside looking in, things couldn’t have been any better. I was about to graduate from law school with honors. I had opportunities to work for a United States Senator, a member of the House of Representatives and if that weren’t enough, the door was open to work in the White House for the President of the United States. As well, I had offers from law firms. It would have appeared as though I held a golden ticket to the future.

Behind the scenes, something entirely different had been gaining momentum in my life. As a strategy of funding law school, I got a job as the security guard of a large church in town. It involved me moving into a house on the edge of the campus which formerly served as a parsonage. For my services the church provided rent free housing and all bills paid. It’s a longer story than can be told here, but somewhere in that process I got involved with the church’s student ministry. My ambitions and aspirations began to shift as I discovered the power and potential of the Gospel like I had never known before. It seemed my life was turning upside down at the worst time possible. I began to know that I knew I was called to serve the Church in a full time way.

In the midst of this profound internal conflict, amid so many conflicting visions for my life, and with such a lack of clarity I didn’t know who to talk to. I mean, it seemed  ridiculous that given the kinds of credentials I had earned and the variety of opportunities before me I would even be considering such an outrageous change of course.

I decided to share the dilemma with Lee, one of my closest friends in law school, who I thought might understand. He did, and the conversation helped me immensely. One thing stood out to me and I have never forgotten it. He said to me, “John David, wisdom seeks many counselors.”

It set me on a course of sharing this dilemma with a number of people including my family, other close friends, pastors and leaders in the church, attorneys I respected, and even the United States Representative and Senator who had recruited me for their staffs. (The President was a little busy.) From all of those conversations, wisdom began to emerge and the path ahead of me became clear.

I wasn’t seeking permission or approval or to please anyone. I was not running a poll to see which course would get the most votes. I was seeking wisdom from a variety of voices, independent from one another. The surprising outcome was the consensus that emerged; from lawyers, preachers, congressmen and all.

I won’t say I chose the path less travelled by but I did take what most would consider to be the unconventional route. And that little piece of advice from my friend made all the difference.

“Wisdom seeks many counselors.”

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

As I look back on that critical time in my life, it is clear to me. Without the voices of those many counselors, I would likely have taken the path that seemed to be the best opportunity. It would have in all likelihood met with failure. (As an aside, some of my friends who went the White House route are still paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal bills.)

Wisdom seeks many counselors. This counsel has served me well many time since. I commend it to you.

I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 16.


J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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