Obtain Biblical Counsel
By: Tom Copland
God admonishes us to obtain counsel. Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (NASB), and Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
God recommends that we obtain biblical counsel from a godly investment adviser and God’s Word.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prosper. (Psalm 1:1–3)
I believe that the following are excellent sources of godly biblical counsel.
1. First, and foremost, spend quality time with the Lord in prayer and ask God to reveal his counsel to you through the Holy Spirit. “But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the LORD.’” (1 Kings 22:5) God has promised that he will provide his counsel and direction in all matters, including investing. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8)
2. Meditate on God’s Word to ensure that any proposed investment is within biblical guidelines. “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counsellors.” (Psalm 119:24) For example, use minimal debt, or ideally no debt, as God’s Word discourages the use of debt (Proverbs 22:7). The use of debt increases the risk and the volatility of your portfolio.
3. In addition, before making any major decision, seek the advice of two or three godly investment counsellors/advisers. In my view, an appropriate definition for such a person would be as follows: a spiritually mature Christian who understands and applies God’s investment principles (Psalm 111:10), has a close personal relationship with God (John 15), has the necessary practical investment knowledge (Proverbs 24:3, 4) and habitually puts the interests of clients first (Philippians 2:3,
4. I believe that one of your investment counsellors should be your spouse (Genesis 2:24), even if he or she has limited investment knowledge. God, through his Holy Spirit, can give his peace or lack of peace to an objective spouse who is not emotionally excited about or biased against a particular investment.
After obtaining the counsel outlined above, it is your responsibility to pray and ask God to give you his wisdom (James 1:5) in weighing that advice. Proverbs 14:15 states, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”
In summary, before making any major investment decision, I recommend that you seek counsel, from God and his Word, two or three godly investment advisers, and from your spouse. Proceed only after God has given you his peace and his wisdom in respect to that particular investment decision.