I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I have friends with fathers, uncles, or brothers who regularly give them wise financial counsel. I desperately want that but don’t have those kinds of relationships in my life. What can I do?
Looking for Wise Counselors
Dear Looking for Wise Counselors,
While I am sorry for the pain you are experiencing, I am also super encouraged that you have identified your need for counsel and are willing to listen! I spent too many years thinking I did not need counsel, even when it was available!
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (ESV)
Like you, so many young people who want or need wise advisors feel they don’t have anywhere to turn. A 2019 Pew Research study reveals that 23% of American children under age 18 live in single-parent homes—three times the world’s average. We’re seeing the damage of loneliness and the lack of trusted adult figures in Gen Z young adults. According to Springtide Research Institute, 27% of young people have only one, if that, adult they can turn to in times of need. More than a fourth of Gen Z feel they have few, if any, wise leaders to turn to. Read more here.
Look for a Capable Mentor
While wise counselors can help you with an occasional question or insight, I suggest you look for a true mentor. In the Bible, we see that Jethro mentored Moses, and then Moses mentored Joshua. Elijah mentored Elisha. Jesus mentored the disciples; Paul mentored Timothy, Titus, and others; and Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos. Besides spiritual mentoring, there are times in life when we need financial, business, parenting, and marriage mentors. But what exactly is a mentor?
An article titled The Power of Mentorship at Forbes explains, “A mentor is simply someone who helps us get unstuck, a non-judgmental person who listens with an open mind to help us steer clear of the mistakes they themselves made (and wish they’d had a mentor to help avoid.) A mentor helps us accelerate our growth by showing us a clearer path with fewer distractions and obstacles.”
According to Henry Cloud, “A mentor is somebody who is where I want to be, or has been where I want to go, has done what I want to do, or in some other way is able to be my guide to get there.” His video series on successful mentoring relationships at RightNowMedia.org can be very helpful.
Where Can You Find Them?
We are all designed to experience life in community with others. We need the Body of Christ to function well in this broken world. To begin your search for a mentor, do a quick inventory by answering a few questions: Who do you know who could offer you godly advice? Do they have a solid reputation? Do they come recommended to you? Start with a short list of prospects.
Next, go to people you trust and admire. Don’t rule out mothers, aunts, or sisters. Ask if they would be willing to meet and share their wisdom with you on a regular basis. Let them know of your motives and expectations.
If you can’t come up with any prospects for a mentor, ask trusted friends for recommendations. Would your pastor or people in your Sunday School class or small group know people willing to come alongside you? Anyone in your line of work who might be willing to share? How about a coach or co-worker?
Pray, and ask the Lord to bring the right person into your life. Until you have a true mentor in place, I suggest that you read … a lot! Make the Bible not only your textbook but also a letter of inheritance from your loving Savior. Treasure it. Read it, listen to it, and memorize portions of it. Allow it to transform you from the inside out. Seek to read great biographies and Christian material on personal finances and spiritual growth. Spend extra time in the Proverbs. Subscribe to podcasts, blogs, and newsletters that will give you a biblical perspective on finances.
Verses That Recommend Seeking Counsel
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 ESV)
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5 ESV)
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9 ESV)
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20 ESV)
Want a Financial Mentor?
Crown’s online Budget Coaching program matches you with one of our certified coaches to thoroughly analyze your financial situation. Your coach will work with you from the convenience of your home to help you with your specific challenges. He or she can serve as a beginning point for advice until the Lord helps you find a mentor.
The Crown Stewardship Podcast may be a valuable resource for you. It is a wonderful tool to help guide you in the many facets of God’s financial principles. You can subscribe for alerts of new episodes. I hope you find it beneficial.
This article was originally published on The Christian Post on August 26, 2022.
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