Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
How many times have you made a fairly heavy decision with a “Lone Ranger” mentality? I know I have. Sometimes those decisions work out. Many times they do not. Why is it that we do not ask for advice when making plans? Do you face trouble and counsel yet do not ask? Do you play the tough person and try to muddle through it on prayer and self-help? Why do we do this?
Maybe we are afraid that our ‘advisors’ will talk us out of a want we may have. I know that when I am dead set on a decision around a want, I do not want to hear the devil’s advocate tell me that I may be making a bad decision. Or, I may be making a rash decision and my adviser maybe just helping me wait. Either way, I want what I want when I want it.
Is it possible that when we ask advice or counsel that we may feel that we will be perceived as weak or ignorant? I know that many times I will not ask because some message in my head will say, “He will think you are ignorant, incompetent, a spiritual mess.” This keeps me from asking many times when I need counsel or have a decision to make. Within this thought process would be the chance we have received incorrect or hurtful advice that has left deep scars and bitterness.
Another reason may be that we just do not want to bother the person(s) about our “stuff”. I just do not want to be a burden to anyone. My potential adviser is busy and I do not want to waste his time with my decisions. I may have even run into a person or two in the past who said, “That’s a decision you will have to make on your own.” Or they say, “You just need to toughen up and push through the situation.” I take that challenge and apply it to all my decisions and just do not ask for advice or counsel.
Contrary to all these reasons, the Proverb still tells me to ask for counsel and advice. I believe one of the reasons that we are to ask is because through people, God speaks to us. This is not the only method he uses, but it is one (To understand more about how God speaks today, I suggest working through Henry Blackabay’s Experiencing God Material). By asking others, we hear other perspectives besides our own. If it lands or sticks and it lines up with truth, I believe it comes from God.
Another reason to ask for advice or counsel is because the person(s) we are asking usually are not emotionally tied or close to the situation we are in. Therefore, the adviser is able to give an unbiased view and opinion. When I am in the middle of my “stuff”, all I see is my “stuff”. I cannot see the big picture or past my emotion. My advisers can step back and look at it all and advise me according to how they know me and my character.
A final reason to follow the charge of this Proverb would be to bless others. This is a strange way to look at this so bear with me. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When we ask for counsel and advice, we allow those who want to carry our burdens to do so. This becomes their blessing to us and in turn it blesses them as well.
God has good reason to place this Proverb into our life. He knows that we need many advisers to get through this life here on earth. By practicing this verse, it allows us to live stronger in community with one another as well.
1. In what ways have you shunned or not asked for advice or counsel? Explain.
2. Why have you chosen the route of not asking?
3. What are some areas of your life where you really could have used someone’s viewpoint?
4. Where is an area where you can begin to receive counsel or advice now?
5. This week, what commitment are you willing to make around asking counsel or advice? Make that commitment and ask God to guide you around that this week.
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