a fine day to think about giving and receiving advice.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Proverbs 12:15 NASB
The president of the United States surrounds himself with trusted advisors, as most world leaders do. No matter how learned we are, no matter how educated, no matter how confident we may be in our ability to make decisions, it is always wise to consider the advice of those around us.
It is as important to consider carefully whom we choose to advise us as it is to seek the counsel of others in the first place. King Rehoboam had an opportunity to listen to advice from older, wiser men on the subject of relaxing some of the harsh labor and tax demands of his father, but he didn’t care for it, so he asked people he grew up with. “What is your advice?’ he asked them. ‘How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?’” (1 Kings 12:9 NLT).
Their response was, to suggest even harsher treatment. His friends told him to say, “Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions.” (1 Kings 12:11 NLT).
Rehoboam took the advice of others and it turned out poorly. He sought counsel but it was provided by individuals who obviously were not very wise. So perhaps, it is best to not seek out advice in the first place, right?
First, it is important to have some idea of the heart of those from whom we seek counsel. It is important that God figure highly into the equation. “The plans of the godly are best; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.” (Proverbs 12:5 NLT).
When confronted with situations that require advice, do these things: Pray for God to guide you; search the Bible for answers; talk with someone you feel has your best interests in mind, and is guided by God in their hearts. Also make sure they have some knowledge or experience in the matter at hand before considering what they have to say regarding it.
When it comes time for someone to seek counsel from you, always ask God to guide you, and if you know nothing about what you are being asked, offer this advice: “Find someone who knows more about the situation than me.” Because no advice is better than bad advice, whether it is advice we are giving or advice we are receiving.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson