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The Value Of Good Advice

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Typically, all of us at sometime need and appreciate good advice. As the author of Proverbs observed, a wise man listens to advice (Prov. 12:15). Indeed, those who respond well to advice gain wisdom (Prov. 13:10). Yet that advice must be good advice, for the “advice” of the wicked is deceitful.

The way of a fool seems right to him,
but a wise man listens to advice. (Prov. 12:15)1

Accordingly, he who is sensible wisely listens to good advice:

Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise. (Prov. 19:20; cf. 20:18)

Such can be seen on a national level as well, when upheld by many good advisors. Thus Proverbs 11:14 states:

For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but many advisors make victory sure. (cf. Prov. 24:6)

More specifically, Proverbs 15:22 points out that with many (good, balanced) advisors “they succeed”.

An interesting use of many advisors may be found in I Kings 12. There we see that after King Solomon’s death Rehoboam became king, succeeding to Solomon’s throne. In I Kings 12:1-11 we read that as the inaugural ceremony at Schechem became confronted with controversy concerning Solomon’s burdensome social regulations, Rehoboam, the new king, eventually followed the advice of his own contemporaries. As I have pointed out elsewhere, “The young men gave Rehoboam the counsel he wished to hear. They advised him to follow a harsh line (I Kings 12:10-11).”2 The result, however, was that the two southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) seceded, forming their own union. Therefore, “the schism was complete and was to be permanent (v.19), despite a long period of insistent warfare between the two states.”3

Here we see that following bad advice can lead to trouble. Hence, we need to be sure that we follow good advice rather than bad or insufficient counsel. As we noted above, a wise man responds favorably to good advice, rather than that which is improper or insufficient. May we, then, tune our ears and our minds toward that which is proper and best for us for our situation. As the hymn writer says,

Sweetly, Lord, have we heard Thee calling,
“Come follow me!”

And we see where Thy footprints falling,
Lead us to Thee.

Footprints of Jesus that make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus, where’er they go.

Then at last, when on high He sees us,
Our journey done,

We will rest where the steps of Jesus
End at His throne.4


1 All scripture references are from the NIV.

2 Richard D. Patterson and Hermann J. Austel, “1 & 2 Kings”, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), IV:114.

3 Ibid, 115.

4 Mary B.C. Slade, “Footprints of Jesus”.

Related Topics: Devotionals, Wisdom

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