Wise Counsel

2 Chronicles 10:8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.”

It was amazing to me how wise my parents became in just the span of a few years!

From my teenage years into my twenties, something happened to open my eyes and see that all that they had taught me and trained me to be was now needed and necessary in my everyday life.

Looking back, we can all remember a watershed moment that if we had made an alternate choice, our lives would be markedly different. Friends we had chosen or forsaken. Career paths we thought too hard. Relationships we felt weren’t worth the work. Money spent frivolously — opportunities to influence others.

These, and many more could have, would have, and should have been our choice instead of the ones we made.

Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, had the most beautiful opportunity presented him on a golden platter. Those he chose to influence him affected not just him personally, but a whole nation. 

One of the principles in RU Recovery, speaks to this situation:

“Our sinful habits do hurt those who follow us.” 

Based on Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”, our lives affect so many around us.

But, we are not the source of all knowledge. Those professing themselves to be some wise one often reveal their lack in time. Far better for us, the children of God, to approach life with humility and a desire to seek wisdom because those following need the best me I can be.

The death of a generation comes with the breakdown of the family. It is there where a child learns so many things that they will take with them into their adult life. Hard work. Character. Respect for authority, generosity, kindness, humility, and relationships are all formed in our early years. 

It is said that the only thing we have learned from history is that we don’t learn from history. Why won’t we take heed from the example of those gone before us?

Is it our pride that thinks that with our wisdom and ability, we will succeed where others failed? Insanity, by definition, is doing something over and over expecting different results. It is just as insane to think we can forsake the way God has planned for us and get the results He promised when we do.

My personal experience has taught me that I am my own worst enemy when I trust only my wisdom and thought process. 

Are you a seeker of truth? God says that if you are, you will find it.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Do you need more wisdom than you possess?

James 1:5-6 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

By the renewing of our mind, we can truly be transformed.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

The change that seemingly took place in my parents from ignorant to wise was not that they had done anything at all. The difference was with me. I saw them differently in light of new situations and circumstances. I had to be open to alternative thinking and opportunities to which I neither knew nor could control.

We can become resentful and jealous of those who know more and distance ourselves from the very ones sent to us to instruct, mentor and teach us. 

The Book of Proverbs begins as a lesson of how to be a good father. We listen as Solomon relates all that his father had taught him. David did not only teach his son what to do but, how to think, how to handle tough people and harsh circumstances. 

David’s life was an open book to all Israel, and he used it to his advantage in teaching his son. David shares his experience with Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba. He relates how he was lured into making a bad decision, but, also shares what he learned from it.

Proverbs 5:12-13 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!”

He said; “I rejected the counsel given me and look what happened.” Solomon shares with us this nugget of wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

The newness of a thing is only new because it is new to me. 

There is so much to be learned from those older than us. Older does not always mean wiser, but, in checking what is said against the Word of God, we can certainly take that which is good and leave the rest.

A well-known preacher once said:

“All men are my teachers.”

May we adopt the same to grow as God would have us to improve!

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