Proverbs 12:15 ESV
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Nobody knows everything, but some folks are awful certain they do indeed have that privilege. We’ve all met them, and sometimes, to our everlasting shame, been them from time to time. Unfortunately, ‘from time to time’ can easily grow to be ‘usually’ or even ‘all the time’ if we aren’t careful, and when that happens, we can be certain we’re a long walk down the fool’s path.
Thankfully, an antidote for such tendencies exists: good advice. The wise man, as this proverb tells us, ‘listens to advice’. Where, though, should he seek advice? Bad advice, after all, could be as destructive as no advice, particularly if it’s taken.
The Bible, of course, should be man’s first haven, and prayer the second. In the words of the apostle Paul, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV). Surely no better advisor can be found than the Word of God Himself, as His word will itself attest (Psalm 119:100). Yet God has granted us mercy upon mercy, grace upon grace, and His word is not the only advisor He has given us.
For the aid of man in understanding and applying Scripture, God has given us the Holy Spirit. Jesus instructs us, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). How, though, does the Holy Spirit aid us, when we neither see nor hear Him? In Romans 8:26, Paul writes these words: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” If the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, as does Christ (Romans 8:34), the swift hand of God must indeed bring us the aid which we so desperately need.
Another source of advice, lower than these but still of great aid, does exist- the advice of the wise among men. Whether they are the leaders of the church (1 Peter 5:1-3), those of weathered age (Psalm 92:14), your parents (Exodus 20:12), or even those whom you do not commonly expect great insight (Matthew 21:16), God uses man both regenerate and unregenerate (Philippians 1:15-18) to bring wisdom to man. A wise man will listen to such, for his own edification (Proverbs 1:1-7), and he will then test the advice he receives against the wisdom of God, which is His word (Acts 17:11) that he might not be deceived to his own destruction.
The wise man is not without a place to turn when his wisdom inevitably fails him or lacking in a true Foundation upon which his understanding may rest; the fool, though, is adrift in a world he can neither comprehend or control. He is to be pitied, in a way, for he seeks in desperation to find a place which he can hold on to, but spurns the truth, which is the only firm foundation.
Let us pray that we are not so but are blessed as Psalm 32 says, “Glad in the Lord” (32:11).
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.