“Two heads are better than one.” we are often told. And I want to believe this saying to be true. Well, true enough, that is.. for most things, most times.
Both life, common sense, and Scripture tells us to seek and (more often than not) heed the advice of others. However, of recent the following Bible passage (1 Kings 12: 1-15) has been resounding in my heart,
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from[a] Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
7 They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word theLord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
Not all aged are wise, and not all young are fools, but the truth is: wisdom is not found in all places! I do not wish to say too much tonight, but let this be food for thought: Beware of the people whose advice you choose to follow!
Many a times when seeking advice, we are not really seeking at all. Most often, we really just want people to tell or confirm to us what we either want to hear or already know. Many of us have often already determined in our hearts what we would do, and simply seek out those who will act as a kind of justification. We don’t necessarily always want to be corrected when wrong. Truth is, we’d all rather simply be supported. Sometimes due to our weakness, while at other times out of sheer wickedness.
The Lord always sends helpers our way. He just never forces us to accept any help. Or advice. Or corrections. Regardless of the decisions we take and paths we eventually choose to walk on, understand that there will be consequences. May the choices we make not affect our lives, the lives of our off-springs, or that of generations (now or to come) negatively.
May we all be more open to the advice of the wise!
Two heads are not always better than one, but the head of one wise may just make all the difference!