Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV)
If you are going into a battle, who would you want to come fight with you?
- Someone who doesn’t want what’s best for you and may even harm you
- Someone who is fearful and will restrict you
- Someone who will stand with you and fight
The answer is clear–the last person is ideal. You want someone who’s on your side to fight with you. The reality is, in the day to day battles we fight, we don’t always see people’s true colors or intentions–at least not at first. Even with social media today, everyone has an opinion, everyone will have advice to give you, but not all advice is right.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1 KJV).
Proverbs 19:20-21 instructs us to listen to wise advice but also to know God’s Word stands above everything. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or plans out if it’s contrary to God’s will. He has the final say every time!
It’s essential that we listen to God’s voice before we listen to the voices of others. People will be quick to tell you what they think you should do–and even base their advice on their own experiences. However, you don’t know if this person is advising you based on their own fears or based on wisdom. Their story is their story. Your story is your story. What happened to them won’t necessarily happen to you. God’s got you covered with a unique plan.
“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand’” (Isaiah 14:24 ESV).
This doesn’t mean we should be skeptical of everyone we come across. God needs us to care for each other and build each other up!
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14 KJV).
If someone is living a godly life, you’ll know based on the fruit of their lives. We just need wisdom regarding who we follow–whether that’s online or in real life. God’s Word will always reign true, and His commandments don’t change. It’s OK to take notes from those you admire and to learn from other people’s past mistakes. Discipleship is valuable, and it’s a commandment. Make sure what others tell you lines up with what God tells you. God will give you the discernment–you just need to go to Him first. Learn the Bible for yourself. Check and see what God says about your problem before you try and consult the Web or someone else.
Stay teachable, but know why you believe what you believe according to the Word.
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
(Proverbs 3:1-4 KJV)