This is part of a series using The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit by Mitch Finley.
The gift of counsel is the third gift of the Holy Spirit. Counsel is the gift that helps us to be open to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Employing the gift of counsel requires us to reflect, discern, consult and advise when teaching or taking actions with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Counsel helps us to discern how to live out our lives in relationship to the Gospel.
Counsel helps us to apply things that we already know through wisdom and understanding to our lives. Through the gift of counsel we allow God to lead us into the correct choices for our lives. Tuning into the Holy Spirit for the choices of our lives is an example of the gift of counsel in action. Through the gift of counsel we can live our lives fearlessly, trusting in the mercy and love of God.
Having the gift of counsel does not mean that you can hang out your shingle and offer advice. It is much more likely that someone with the gift of counsel will deliberately and carefully make decisions watching for God's leading. Seeing all things in the light of God's perfect love is using the gift of counsel.
In my own life I reflect that when I am stressed or emotional I find it difficult to use the gift of counsel. I have to make myself step back and see what the loving choice would be. On the blog when I was whining about a difficult situation in my life, Amanda offered the gift of counsel by gently speaking about those sorts of situations as sandpaper. The sandpaper analogy spoke to me and helped me to see the situation in a new light. The ability to hear and use this kind of good advice is also employing the gift of counsel.