Walking Wisely
Amy Carroll

“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

Do you have an important decision to make today? Rehoboam’s story in I Kings 12:1-19 has a lesson for each of us in the midst of making hard choices. Rehoboam had a dilemma. He had an important decision to make, and he didn’t know what to do.

Following Solomon’s death, the people of Israel gathered to make Rehoboam king. About that time, Jeroboam (I know these names are doozies, but hang in there!) came to speak to Rehoboam on behalf of the people. He said, “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.” The people were worn out. Solomon had been a great king, but he had worked the people into exhaustion with all of his building projects. They were pleading for rest during Rehoboam’s reign in exchange for their undying loyalty, but Rehoboam wasn’t sure of the kingly response. He asked for three days to come to a decision. Great idea, right? He started well with a request for time to seek counsel.

The first group that he asked for advice was a group of elders who had served under his father. These were men of experience both from years lived and from the places where they had served. They advised Rehoboam to answer the people affirmatively. The elders encouraged him that the people would follow him faithfully if only Rehoboam would humble himself to be a servant leader.

Rehoboam didn’t like their answer, so he sought out a different group to ask. This time he decided to ask “the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.” Are warning bells going off for you, too? Not only were these men young and inexperienced, they also were on Rehoboam’s payroll and stood to lose or gain by their answer. Here was their advice: “Tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 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’” (I Kings 12:10b-11 NIV). Rehoboam foolishly listened to his friends.

If we want to make wise decisions, we need to seek wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (NAS) How can we make sure that we pick the right people to seek advice from?

Choose a godly person. Proverbs 2:6 tells us, “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (NIV). When I choose to seek advice from someone who knows scripture and seeks God in personal quiet time, I can be assured their advice is based on a foundation of truth.

Choose a person with experience. It’s always been helpful to me to learn from other women who have walked before me. I’ve sought out other teachers, wives, and mothers who are purposeful about building godly relationships and behaving righteously to give me counsel as I live life. It’s the principal of the older believers teaching the younger believers that’s found in Titus 2.

Choose someone who will tell the truth in love. Ecclesiastes 7:5 explains, “It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools” (NIV). So many around me would rather “sing me a song” than tell me what I need to hear. I have several friends that I trust to tell me the unvarnished truth when I ask for advice. They love me, but they fear God!

Rehoboam’s decision changed history. He reaped a rebellion that ripped the country in two. He lost his following, his potential for enormous power, and the favor of God. We don’t have to make those mistakes. We can head the warning taught by Rehoboam’s story and follow God by seeking wise counsel.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor by Donna Otto

At the Feet of Ordinary Women by Angie Conrad, et al

Visit Amy Carroll’s blog

Application Steps:
Read the full story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam in I Kings 11:26-12:24.

List the people that you most often turn to for advice. Do they meet the three suggested criteria above?

Do I usually seek counsel when I am making a decision?

Who in my life will tell me the truth in love rather than saying what I want to hear?

Has there been a time when I’ve reaped the consequences of following unwise counsel?

Power Verses:
Job 12:13, “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (NIV)

Proverbs 20:18, “Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your site yesterday. I believe it was our Lord's will. I have already found invaluable resources here. I am currently going through difficult times in my life that I was trying to handle on my own. I understand now that I need to pray to God to lead me to the ideal person or people whose advice will help me through this. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing the truths of the Bible to life in a practical way. We all need guidance, and seeking it from a wise source yields priceless results. Praise God for great examples in His word, that we might learn and not make the same mistakes.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God help us not only to seek council from wise, godly people but that we will ask the Lord to help us to choose the path He shows us, realizing that He will be with us each step of the way. Thank you for this example in the Bible to our attention, Amy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just hit me today the Proverbs 31 was spoken over me about a month ago. I am believing God for a husband but first to prepare me to be HIS bride first and he my husband and I pray daily that my heart be so hidden in Christ that he must seek him to find my heart. Then I found several ministries on this site and it blesses me know and honors me that my God loves me and wants me all to himself and that He is infact the Lover of my Soul and that I want to surrender the deepest most intimate parts of me to include my desires for a husband and companion. I cant deny that I want it in this life but in my heart of hearts God is the safest place to entrust my entire being. He is my Refuge, My Love, My Kind, ISH / MY HUSBAND.

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