Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
Smartphones have disrupted one of the greatest challenges in the life of a typical man…asking for directions. It’s a “joke” that has probably been around since Henry Ford rolled his first Model T off the assembly line in July of 1903. When driving from point A to point B, the couple begins to wonder if they are on the right track. “Just stop and ask for directions” the loving wife suggests. “I don’t need to stop!” the husband retorts. “I know where I’m going.” If only he had stopped at that gas station to ask for some advice…
Pride is what stops most people from seeking advice. We think we know enough and so asking for help means that we are somehow lacking in intelligence or wisdom. Warren Wiersbe said, “If experienced generals seek counsel as they wage war, shouldn’t we seek counsel for the battles of life? It’s dangerous to rely on our own wisdom and experience and to ignore the wisdom and experience of other believers who have successfully walked with the Lord.” A singular perspective can be a deadly thing – just ask General Custer.
For the follower of Christ, there are many sources of sound advice. First, of course, is the Word of God itself, followed by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. But setting those aside, today’s proverb is mostly focused on seeking advice from wise counselors, something that Solomon’s own son Rehoboam refused to do and paid a steep price for. The Body of Christ is rich in wise counselors, be them in the church office, the Sunday school, or the greater local community. The foot does not get anywhere without the leg, nor does the hand accomplish much good without the arm. Why do we think you can succeed apart from the Body?
The fifteenth-century theologian Thomas à Kempis said, “Who is so wise as to have perfect knowledge of all things? Therefore, trust not too much to your own opinion, but be ready also to hear the opinions of others. Though your own opinion be good, yet if for the love of God you forego it and follow that of another, you shall the more profit thereby.” Thomas recognized the importance of seeking the opinions of trusted advisors when making plans for life. We should all do the same.