It seems that 9 out of 10 people feel comfortably qualified to offer advice to others. And in no other arena of social interest are people as ready to offer advice as in the field of religion and morals. Yet it is exactly in this capacity that the average individual is least qualified to speak wisely and is capable of the most harm when he does speak. For this reason, we should select our counselors wisely and carefully. And selection inescapably carries with it the idea of rejection.
In the first Psalm, David warns against the counsel of the ungodly, and Bible history offers many examples of men who made a failure of their lives through taking wrong advice. For example, Rehoboam listened to men who had not listened to God and the whole future of Israel was affected horribly as a consequence. Ahithophel’s counsel was an evil thing that added to the troubles of Absalom.
No man has the right to offer advice who has not first heard God speak. No one has the right to counsel others who is not ready to hear and follow the counsel of the Lord. The only safe light for our path is the light which is mirrored from Christ, the Light of the World.
It is particularly important that young people learn whose counsel to trust. Whether they realize it or not, they receive the opinions of others every day and adapt them as their own. Those who crow the loudest of their independence have picked up from someone the idea that independence is a virtue, and their very eagerness to be individualistic is the result of the influence of others. They are what they are because of the counsel they have unwittingly followed.
This rule of listening only to those who have first listened to God will save us from many a trap.