But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17, NIV
As a teacher coach, I am often asked for advice. I get asked questions like: What should I do about student behavior? How can I teach this topic more effectively? How should I handle an uncomfortable situation with my colleague?
I am honored when asked for my opinion or advice. However, I was recently reminded that as teachers and leaders, we are given a sacred position of influence. People listen to what we have to say. And this is a big and important responsibility—one that requires us to put aside our pride and seek the Lord for insight.
I find that giving advice becomes the most challenging when I try to look at situations through my own eyes. I may see injustice and want to advise retaliation. I may feel burdened and find myself commiserating with someone instead of building them up and helping them see things with a fresh perspective. But, I have learned that responding according to my human nature will not bring about the “good fruit” that James describes.
For any given situation, there are many places to look for wisdom and countless opinions to be heard. However, the best place to look when giving or taking advice is through the lens of Godly wisdom. I try to take a step back from the situation and bring it to the Lord in prayer. He never fails to guide me. And when I share His wisdom with others, I know that lives will be impacted for eternity!
Lord, help me to receive and give Your wisdom so that Your people can live out the plans You have for their lives and shine brightly in a world that needs You.
Copyright Heather Kohnen.
Heather, formerly an elementary teacher in Minnesota, now serves as the director of the AWAKE project for Christian Educators.