Have you ever watched a movie with someone who had already seen it, and when it got too suspenseful, you couldn’t resist the urge to ask “What happens next?” In that brief moment, the unknown made you wish you could fast forward to see how it would all play out.
Recently, I had a conversation with a sister in Christ, and we were discussing the regret that comes with poor decision-making, or receiving ungodly counsel (Psalm 1). I said to her, “We all need Fast-Forward Friends.” These are the people who will help us fast-forward to the end of the story of our pending decision. These friends are able to judge the situation with clear minds, free from the emotional fog that sometimes clouds our personal judgment. I really believe Fast-Forward Friends can help save us from many heart aches and setbacks.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15).
Many of us have been hindered because we made poor judgments and decisions without seeking Godly counsel. I believe the reason we don’t want to first seek Godly counsel is because it might not agree with what we have already purposed in our hearts to do. What many of us do is make our own plans, without seeking God or Godly counsel, then we want God to bless it. When it doesn’t work, we question God, or even worse, we get discouraged and want to quit.
I remember when I decided that I was going to get married, I sought Godly counsel, but not initially; it was more of an “I followed the Christian protocol” gesture. I did not realize at the time, that the people advising me were my Fast-Forward Friends. They literally told me the entire storyline and how the story would end; but I was already planning to get married, so I chose not to heed their many warnings. I vividly remember one of my Fast-Forward Friends saying, “Okay, you are going into this with your eyes wide open;” boy was she right! The marriage barely made it to the one year mark; and within that year, we separated and got back together three times before the final split. If I would have listened to my Fast-Forward Friends, I would have waited and God would have revealed everything about me and him, to confirm why we were not ready for marriage. One good thing that came from this situation is that now I am available as that Fast-Forward Friend to warn any person who is contemplating marriage prematurely, or without seeking Godly counsel.
If King David would have had some Fast-Forward Friends, then perhaps he wouldn’t have committed adultery with Bathsheba and ultimately caused his entire bloodline to be cursed. Fast-Forward Friends would have said, “If you do this, you will conceive a child with her, then you will have to kill her husband, then your child will die, then your son will rape your daughter, and your other son will try to take your kingdom from you.” Now, I know they may not have known exactly what would happen, but they would’ve been able to present different scenarios of what could possibly go wrong with his decision; and perhaps he would have changed his mind, realizing those few moments of lust were not worth the consequences he would endure as a result of it (2 Samuel 11, 2 Samuel 12, 2 Samuel 13, 2 Samuel 15).
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
I realize inviting people into your decisions to serve as Fast-Forward Friends requires vulnerability, especially in our “I don’t want people in my business” society; but I wholeheartedly believe that if you choose them wisely, these people can help you stay in the Will of God and avoid a lot of disappointment and pain.
Let me also add that Fast-Forward Friends can encourage you during those difficult times when you need to be reminded of your purpose and destiny. They can fast-forward to the end of the story and remind you of the many Promises of God, and why it is so imperative that you stay the course. They will make it hard for you to fail or quit.
So, That Settles It, stop settling for the “I told you so” friends, and pray and ask God to send you some Fast-Forward Friends. Likewise, if God has helped you to overcome poor decision-making and you have gained wisdom to prevent someone else from making the same mistakes, be their Fast-Forward Friend.