Advice is essential in any decision-making process, the goal of the gift of counsel is to seek truth and the correct decision, and this implies seeking the reduction of error. In every decision there are two options: success or error, hit or fail. Remember that the blessed life consist in being assertive. The blessed receive blessings (assertive people); the unfortunate (foolish) are cursed according to Luke 6:20-26. The book of proverbs explains the problem as follows: "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" Proverbs 15:22
We have a few examples of the spiritual gift of counsel taught by Jesus in the bible: Jesus and the denarii, "Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's", Luke 20:21-25; and Jesus and the prostitute, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her", John 8:4-7.
The spiritual gift of counsel is not prudence; prudence is practical reason, the gift of advice is an improvement of prudence: listen (perceive with attention), meditate with intuition and inspiration, decide with creativity and discernment. The sacred listening is a perfect virtue: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect", Matthew 5:48. We resolve what is presented to our judgment as God in person, that is we emulate God.
This spiritual gift is a skill that is acquired through Gnosis (born from the spirit), this is the most characteristic gift of those filled with the holy spirit:
"At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ´Ask for whatever you want me to give you.´
Solomon answered, ´You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a heart that knows how to listen, to judge your people, and to discern between good and evil.´
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ´Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked.I will give you a wise and understanding heart.´"
1 Kings 3:5-12; 2 Chronicles 1:7-12.
The listening, to receive it, we must ask it insistently to God, and it is received along with the gifts of knowledge, discernment and wisdom.
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