A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:20-22 ESV).
The fourth in the series this week points us to the incredible way Solomon understood the importance of wise counsel. We have another word in our techno-influenced culture. We call it “networking.” Former President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair were often considered “soul mates.” As the first Baby Boomer leaders of their nations, they also had similar political philosophies. People marveled at how well these two charismatic leaders got along. But, it’s also interesting to note that when George Bush succeeded President Clinton, Tony Blair reached out to him, as well. The two also seemed to get along splendidly and worked together quite well. Blair proved that he was not just a friend of the President, but really, a friend of the United States.
There was a similar relationship between Solomon and Hiram, the king of the Phoenicians. Solomon recognized that he needed others to help him fulfill his mission. He needed people with insight and resources he did not have to help him get where he needed to be. The Phoenicians were great ship builders and great seafaring people. Hiram had been a friend of King David and when he heard that Solomon was the new king, he reached out to him and offered his assistance. Solomon had enough humility as a leader to recognize that he needed not only the people within his own nation, but people of other nations, people outside his place of responsibility. Good leaders reach out to others, collecting wisdom and support from every source available. Let me make a few suggestions in seeking this counsel in your journey.
- First, understand why you’re seeking guidance. This perspective helps the other person understand where you’re coming from and provides further context for the situation. It also allows you to be open to what the other person has to say. Being completely upfront about your motive sets the stage for everyone involved and can prevent conflict or confusion.
- Second, check your source. It’s important to realize how backgrounds, including upbringings and past experiences, have such a large impact on the advice someone offers.
- Third, ask lots of questions. If we encounter confusion, we ask questions. In order to understand our own perspective, as well as others’ perspectives, we ask questions. The right questions sustain a conversation. When gaining advice, instead of the mindset of agreeing or disagreeing with statements, focus on why or how.
Scripture tells us to seek wise counsel. It worked for Solomon, it will work for you.
Don’s book, A Time to Laugh and a Time to Cry, is available to order! More information can be found at Austin Brothers Publishing. Please continue to remember the ministry each day. Your generous support has made an incredible difference in our work. Thank you!Order It Here!