Don’t Keep It In

I’ll be honest: I like to keep things to myself. That Isolationist Mentality of mine creeps in every once in a while…

Mistakenly I often say to myself, “I can do it by myself. I don’t need other people’s help. No one wants to hear my junk!”

As I was reading through a passage this morning, more than ever I was struck by the importance of wise counsel:

The way of fools seems right to them,but the wise listen to advice. (Prov 12:15)

God reminded me that I don’t need to do everything by myself. 

He reminded me that I should surround myself with people who want to ‘hold me up’.

There are people who have junk… just like me!

Photo credit: SMBCollege (Creative College)

As I begin to think about 2012 and what I want that year to look like, the idea of fencing myself in / purposely sharing my life with a select group of men has come to mind.

God has, time and time again, reminded me to not keep everything in. Share. It’s okay. Just act. Trust.

Not sure exactly what that will look like (discipleship? sharing life? more relational?), but I want to pray about what it will look like. I know it will take intentionality on my end, being specific and directional, and be founded on transparency and vulnerability.

::

Who is “wise counsel” in your own life?
What does that look like in your life right now? 

37 Comments

  • Michael Perkins

    November 22, 2011

    Who is…

    My dad, and a few others.

    Creatively I lean on Tony and Moe quite a bit.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 22, 2011

      That’s awesome – having a dad like that myself is great. I hope my kids look to me in that capacity when they’re older.

      Reply
  • bill (cycleguy)

    November 22, 2011

    Who is? I suffer a lot from isolationism here and because of my job, I am seriously lacking in accountability partners. I have broached the subject with a couple of pastors to see what their reaction might be but have not heard back. Sad thing is: I am not an isolationist at all.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      I think that is step 1: taking the step and reaching out. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

      Reply
  • Jason

    November 22, 2011

    Wise counsel varies. The two guys above me are on that list. My pastor. My parents.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for the comment, Jason – I like how it varies as well … important to remember that counsel isn’t just one person, right?

      Reply
  • Moe

    November 22, 2011

    Carlos (you met him at the blogger’s meetup – the crazy dude willing to spend 14 hrs in a closed vehicle with me (no easy feat)). He’s the dude who has given me wise advice. We trust each other and keep each other accountable.

    Disciples were never meant to be alone. If you saw Peter, you always saw the others. A lonely disciple is a lonesiple (I just made that word up).

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      I really enjoyed meeting Carlos – I know you guys go way back as well. No doubt these relationships have to be founded on trust.

      Reply
  • jbussell

    November 22, 2011

    I have a few guys that I lean on, but this is an area that I am struggling with right now. I am trying to get a similar group together and have been praying about what that should look like. The problem that I have found is that very few guys are willing to make the commitment that I feel this needs in order to work.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for your thoughts jeremy – I feel that I’m in a similar place. I want those types of relationships in my life, but not sure what they look like right now. I do know, however, it will take initiative on my own part… inviting people into my own life.

      Reply
      • jbussell

        November 23, 2011

        I totally agree. It’s not just others, I have to be willing to make that commitment as well.

        Reply
  • Arny

    November 22, 2011

    I think God uses Everyone and Everything around me to council me…anything from a commercial, to my wife, my kids, my Parents, my in-laws, friends, My Pastors, my band mates…

    Everyone…

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for commenting, Arny – I appreciate your readership.

      Reply
  • Brad Huebert

    November 22, 2011

    Funny, I struggle with the opposite problem. I’m a walking sieve. I am learning not to share everything with everyone. As a preacher with a bent toward transparency, this has been a challenge. My wise counsel may ask, “Did you have to share that? Really?”

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for sharing, Brad – maybe the two ends of the spectrum can balance each other out? :)

      Reply
  • Ernie

    November 22, 2011

    The pastors at my church are great. Their messages always challenge me and point me to dependency on God. Plus, I can always talk with them if I need advice. I also have a good buddy that I talk on the phone with every two weeks. We realized that we needed to be intentional with our friendship.

    I definitely know what you mean about doing everything on your own. I naturally drift towards isolation, so it’s a daily battle to live open and honest.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      It has do! If the counsel (and their lives) doesn’t point to God, then we need to have a health check…

      Reply
  • chris vonada

    November 22, 2011

    I think of the people around me in terms of circles…

    http://chrisvonada.com/2010/06/04/the-4-circles-and-the-great-beyond/

    we all need wise counsel, we are fooling ourselves to go it alone.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for sharing the link, Chris!

      Reply
  • Jon

    November 22, 2011

    I feel that I have this same problem. I’m a very closed person..do things on my own…figure things out by myself. I’m all for helping others, but when it comes to me, I’m the total opposite. Thanks for the challenging post man. Needed to read this one today!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      You’re welcome, Jon!

      Reply
  • Keri

    November 22, 2011

    I’m working on this very same thing myself, Dustin. For me, wise counsel comes in the form of the people at our small group. I share most intimately with the other girls, but we are also able to share as a couple with the others. I have been thinking about the idea of mentorship. I don’t even know how one goes about seeking a mentor. Our church is very much divided up by age groups-unfortunately. But, I’ve come to realize that even some of my friends that are of the same age as me can be mentors because of their wisdom.

    I like intentionality and surely could use more of it in my life. But, I also want to always keep my eyes and ears open to wise counsel that comes from unexpected places, the blogosphere being one of them. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      Thanks for the comment, Keri. I’ve been involved with small groups, etc and I think mentorship is a great thing. The church we’re at right now is similar in terms of “older” guys – just the way it is, we’re younger. I also like how our blog buddies seem to encourage and challenge us all… :)

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    November 22, 2011

    I think for me it is my husband who is very wise and always tries to understand things from every point of view – but he is always in my corner when others may not be. I’ve been a little disappointed in our small group – some things you can share – others you can’t and I haven’t felt safe with some to do that. But you’re right – everyone needs at least ONE person they can get council and wisdom from.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      agreed! i love my wife and value everything she says, but there needs to be other people (i believe) outside of that to share withand seek counsel from.

      Reply
  • Jim F

    November 23, 2011

    My answer is similar to Bill’s. Pastoring in a small town in a small church does not lend itself too much accountability. When it comes down to it though – I have friend who I call and talk with – just they do not live close enough to sit down and have a cup of coffee and really talk about things. Some of those are friends I have had for many years and some are people whom I have met through social networking. Good thoughts Dustin.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      thanks, jim – i’m grateful for today’s technology capabilities that allow for things like that…

      Reply
  • Tom

    November 23, 2011

    Great post…I tend to be an isolationist too. However, I love the small groups in Celebrate Recovery that I attend. I think ALL people need a small group where they can be honest about all of their hurts, habits and hang-ups. Honesty is the beginning of healing. Trying to fake it just causes more isolation.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 23, 2011

      >>> “Trying to fake it just causes more isolation.”

      spot on. thanks for the comment, tom!

      Reply
  • Jon Stolpe

    November 25, 2011

    I meet with a bunch of guys on Wednesday nights in a group we call MEAT (Men Eating And Talking). These guys provide some pretty solid council. I have also been meeting one-on-one for breakfast with a good friend of mine once every other week. This is proving to be an excellent friendship with some unbelievably deep sharing.

    I would definitely encourage you to lean into others for sharing, accountability, and growth.

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 29, 2011

      Thanks for the note Jon – I appreciate your thoughts.

      Reply
  • Bryan Thompson

    November 25, 2011

    That’s a great passage, Dustin. One thing I love about Solomon is that he is the wisest man who perhaps ever lived, and yet, he is best known for his requests. He asks questions. He seeks wisdom. The man who knows everything SEEKS wisdom. Brilliant. Thanks for sharing YOUR heart man.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 29, 2011

      Love the thoughts and reminder about Solomon. Seeking wisdom and counsel is so important.

      Reply
  • Adam

    November 26, 2011

    Reading these comments its nice to see Im not the only one who tends to isolate myself. We need to start a online group. :) I feel like I have issues that if people find out about them they will just turn an run away. but I am glad I have a group of close guys who know my stuff and love me through it. So we its nice to finally have those relationships after not having them for so long.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 29, 2011

      An online group? Hmm…. :)

      Thanks for sharing Adam.

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    November 28, 2011

    Romans 12:21 speaks to me time and again when I am feeling overwhelmed–Do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with good.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      November 29, 2011

      Rom 12 is a great chapter as a whole. Thanks for the note, Matt.

      Reply

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