Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)

Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established.

Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.

Proverbs 20:18 (NIV)

We are on a journey to materializing our wholesome and healthy “it”.  “It” can be the network that you don’t have, that you need to secure that next job or organizational role.  “It” can be the collection of advocates who need to vocalize support for you in rooms that you don’t inhabit. “It” can be the actual opportunity to actualize your potential or show what you can do.  “It” can be a boundary that you need to establish to keep yourself safe.  Whatever “it” is, if non-existent, you can create “it” using the C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. framework.

Recall the elements of C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. framework as shown below.


Set the Context.  Situations are neither ALL good nor bad. They are a mix of both. 



Engage your Rational mind to separate thoughts and feelings (they aren’t the same!).  Allow for separate spaces to interact with these two aspects of self.



Exercise judgment in separating thoughts into two categories – (1) within your control,(2) outside of your control.



For those thoughts that are within your control, what are the Actions that you need to take?



Consult with trusted others to determine the proper Timing and content of your action plan.



Include the God of the visible and invisible as you present your action plan to him in prayer. He will optimize it.



Occupy whatever space you are currently in.  Do your best with whatever opportunity you currently have or in whatever situation you are in! Don’t lie down and die!



Stay Near to God and others. Don’t abandon community.  Don’t lose confidence in God’s goodness and his ability to create it for you!


As we continue this journey of creating the wholesome “it” that we desire for ourselves, we have done the following:

  1. We have defined the CONTEXT of our situation, recognizing that things are neither ALL good nor bad, but a mixture of states. We have labelled out “it” and hopefully shared it with others. We have reflected on the future benefits we foresee receiving and the negative present circumstances we are experiencing (as a result of not having “it”).  Our “it” may be related to our relationships, careers, personal comfort, personal characteristics, social connectedness, financial security etc. “It” can be any wholesome longing that we have that is currently not in our grasp.
  2. We engaged our RATIONAL mind to reflect on the feelings and thoughts we have about our current circumstance and perception of the future. Feelings are expressed using the sentence stem “I feel…” and involve some aspect of the emotional states of sadness, happiness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear and shame/guilt.  Thoughts are expressed using the sentence stems “I am…”, “You are…”, “He/she/it is…”, “We are…” and “They are…”.  These capture our perception of how our characteristics and those of others (or the environment) intersect with our current circumstance and the feasibility of achieving our “it”.
  3. We extracted the thoughts we identified and conducted an EXERCISE in judgment to create separation between thoughts we can do something about and those that we can’t. Additionally, for those thoughts associated with things within our control, we identified the ACTIONS that we need to take address the thought.  If my “it” is to create a broader professional network, then one thought I may have is “I am not interesting.  No one will want to connect with me.”  An action to address this thought might be to challenge this thought with feedback from a trusted colleague, friend or partner.

We work through the process of generating actions that are within our control.  This hopefully results in a list to form the basis of a plan.  Some actions may be anxiety provoking (like seeking feedback from others) and therefore present as being more difficult.  Other actions may be less so.  It is not always the case that we go after the easier actions first.  This brings us to the next step in our C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N journey:


Consult with trusted others to determine the proper Timing and content of your action plan.

Genesis 1:14-19 14And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

God, in his abundant wisdom, recognized the need for humanity to be governed by time, maybe because he knew that sin would introduce finiteness to our earthly existence.  He gave us the ability to measure the progression of time and order our actions sequentially, based on the concept of chronology (events related to when they happen/ed).  This step recognizes that time is a limited resource that needs to be utilized judiciously.  It also accepts that actions build on each other, in pursuit of our “it”.  For many of us, because we are creating this “it” for the first time, the use of wise counsel in determining the sequence of this action plan is important.  Much like the introductory Proverbs passages reference the importance of seeking wise advice, input from multiple sources is important.

I have struggled with this.  On the one hand I understand the importance of sage advice.  On the other hand, my impulse to act, based on my own intuition, can be very strong.  I have to balance the tension between the immediacy I feel to act and the feeling of dilution and delay I feel when I consult.  My most important resource in this struggle is Shivana.  If I identify some action and I feel urgency to implement, I have learned to pass it by her, because I know her to be much more systematic and thoughtful.  Once I have consulted with her, I then seek the counsel of a trusted mentor or counselor.

Do you have such a process?  Are you as impulsive as I am?  Maybe you deal with the opposite issue which is inertia – overwhelmed by the fear of action.  Whatever the orientation, establishing a process that allows for actions to be sequenced as best as possible through a systematic process is critical on the way to accomplishing/creating our “it”.

Discussion Questions

1. Who are two (2) people that you can trust to give you wise counsel. Limit the number of family members to only one person.


2. feelings do you have about approaching them for help? (Feel free to use this Feelings Wheel or something similar to help stimulate your reflection).



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