September 13, 2011

Planning and Advice

Proverbs 16:1-4

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15


We have to be careful with a proverb like this. Just surrounding myself with advisers doesn’t make me wise. Foolish talk doesn’t become wisdom just because my favorite counselors agree. A wise person picks advisers carefully. Wisdom comes from the mouth of the wise.

But this proverb gets at a deeper issue. All of us tend to want to have things our own way because that seems right to us. So we are prone to seek out people who agree with our point of view. After all, who wants to be told they are wrong?

But such action risks foolishness. All of us have limited vision. None of us can evaluate fully every possibility. Wise people don’t just want to get their way. Wise people want to act wisely. That means getting advice from others who can help them see clearly. Wise advisers will say what a person needs to hear—even when they know the person may at first disagree.

If I refuse to ask for the input of people who love me and may know something about me or my planning, then I need to read today’s verses again. That doesn’t mean I need always to do what others say. But it does mean I will pay attention.

I thank God for people who speak from hearts that love God and embrace his true wisdom.

Lord, thank you for people you have given me on my life’s journey. Please use them to help me see what I need to see, and give me wisdom to listen. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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