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and our eternal destiny have nothing to do with our actions) Advice As we use sound reason to apply the Scriptures to our lives, we need the help of others (Proverbs 11:14). As you consider a decision or ponder a new idea you have found in Scripture, share your thoughts with several people you trust and ask for their advice. Seek out people with a variety of perspectives, not just peers who think like you do. Though you won’t be able to follow all the advice you hear, exposing yourself to several points of view may alert you to problems with your idea or suggest a better plan than you would have thought up yourself. Pay special attention to the advice of people who are living fulfilled, righteous lives, at peace with God and others (Hebrews 13:7). If unsuccessful, unhappy friends offer advice, listen respectfully; but remember that if their way of thinking doesn’t work for them, it is not likely to work for you. Before following any advice you receive, be sure to compare it to the truth of Scripture (Acts 17:10–11). Experience Much valuable education comes to us through the events we experience. One important part of maturity is gleaning the lessons from our experiences in order to make better decisions (Hebrews 5:11–14). Experience alone is an insufficient guide for our lives, but it is a valuable help when we combine it with other truth-seeking tools. Spiritual Intuition Spiritual intuition is an inner “sense” given by the Spirit of God, warning us away from certain paths or nudging us toward others (Isaiah 30:21). For a person with long experience in obeying and hearing from God, this spiritual insight can be a useful source of guidance. However, we’ve placed it last in this list because we cannot depend on it by itself. People who are unfamiliar with the Scriptures, who have poor reasoning skills and little experience, and who do not heed advice well can easily imagine that the chatter in their own minds is the voice of God’s Spirit (Jeremiah 23:13–40). The following questions can help us determine whether the inner message we think we are hearing is the voice of God or our own imagination: Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32 | 25


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