“Without counsel plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
Success or failure largely depends on the company you keep and the counsel you heed (1 Cor 15:33). Our closest friends and counselors influence our character, behavior and the course of our lives, for better or for worse. The wise person is aware of this and is selective toward choosing influential friends (Proverbs 12:26). The foolish person is undiscerning concerning counselors. One should seek out a few high-quality advisors who are trustworthy confidants and worthy life guides, with reputations of wisely following the Lord.
A counselor is anyone who can provide insight, advice, wisdom or help for you to successfully accomplish goals. Effective counselors are those who know God’s truth, live godly lives and have real-world experience that they can convey to you to help you live successfully for the Lord. A wise person should be selective and preemptive about building a quality group of godly advisors. A fool waits until an emergency before seeking wise counsel, while a wise Christian builds strong relationships with quality counselors before trouble.
Individualism is very destructive in our culture. Consider the consequences of going through life with no wise counselors. Plans and goals are often frustrated without trusted counsel. “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; but there is safety in many advisors.” (Prov 11:14) What if you knew that the chances of failing were very high if you did not have counsel concerning your plans? Our success is often limited by our self-reliant and individualistic tendencies, which excludes wise input from others.
“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction.” (Prov 13:18). Trusted counselors can help prevent failure, shame, and poverty when they correct us or give warnings about our ill-conceived solo-plans. Who is your close confidant whose warning, correction, or loving rebuke will stop you in your tracks? The wise person heeds loving rebukes, while the fool will try to hide plans away from the scrutiny of others (Prov 9:8; 18:1).
“Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.” (Prov 20:18). Dreams and goals will find greater success with many wise counselors. Consider the illustration of war preparation. If you are wrong about going to war, then you could lose everything: your property, your possessions, your family, and your own life! No one wants to rush into war without sound counsel or before calculating the cost and likelihood of victory (Luke 14:28-32). And yet too often in major decisions in our lives we rush ahead taking on great risk with the potential of losing the same things that could be lost in armed conflict.
Ever bumped into someone who has a “I lost everything” story? Who were the advisors in their lives? In a multitude of counselors there is safety and reduction of risk. You need advisors and helpers whenever risk is taken and then you will be able to win battles and achieve victory in endeavors that would otherwise be lost (Eccl 4:9-12).
What type of person do you want as a counselor? Someone who stays away from foolishness and sin; who is experienced, who lives uprightly, who is full of biblical wisdom, sound in Christian faith and love (see Psalms 1, 15; Titus 2:2). Everyone needs wise counselors for success.
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” (Proverbs 13:20).