“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)
Are you deliberating over a decision with so many pros and cons that you can’t figure out what is best? Or, have you recently made a snap decision that you regretted?
When we have decisions to make that affect the root of our being, especially who we are spiritually, Solomon gives us a piece of good advice: don’t make those decisions alone. Proverbs 15:22 and 11:14 urge us to seek wise counselors before making any life-changing decision. And Proverbs 20:18 and 24:6 reinforce Solomon’s teaching that victory comes only when we seek help in the decision-making process.
Why do our plans have a greater chance of success when we consult the advice of others? Firstly, because these individuals bring different experiences to the table and can see facets of a situation that we cannot. Likewise, others who are detached from a situation can look at it objectively, while those of us who are emotionally attached to it will most likely choose a course of action based on our feelings.
Several years ago, I was excited about buying my first new car. I took my brother along with me, which was a great decision because while I chose the car, he did the negotiating. Since he was not emotionally involved – it didn’t matter if he got the car or not – he could walk away if the price wasn’t right. If I had handled the negotiating, I probably would have paid more than I should have because I really wanted that particular car. As a result, I got a great car at a reasonable price.
Other decisions are even more important, including marriage, career change, relocating, pursuing a dating relationship, choosing a college, changing churches, and the list goes on. Whatever decision you are facing, if it is a life-changing one, seek out wise counselors before making it.
As Christians, the ultimate counselor we have is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 tells us, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” When we pray, we provide a path for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. Prayer should always be our first course of action before making a decision. After that, we should seek counsel from wise friends.
That said, everyone has an opinion, and it is important to make sure that we choose our counselors carefully. So, what does a wise counselor look like?
- someone who fears the Lord (Proverbs 1:7)
- someone who knows you well (Proverbs 18:24)
- someone who has experience with the subject of your decision (2 Corinthians 1:4)
We weren’t made to live this life alone, so don’t make big decisions alone. Heed Solomon’s instruction and seek the advice of godly friends.