Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice. – Proverbs 12:15 (NRSV)
Agatha Christie once said, “Good advice is to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.”
Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”
But the book of Proverbs values advice—not so much the giving of it, but the listening to it. Wise people listen to others. That’s a countercultural message in a “just follow your heart” world. But it’s a message worth taking seriously.
I seldom do something foolish on purpose. I always think it is a good idea at the time. I listen to my own excellent advice and then I take it. Full steam ahead.
But if I am honest, when I look back at my mistakes, I can see that I was not eager for advice from other people. Most of my worst ideas are ideas I decided not to run by anyone else.
Fools don’t intend to be foolish. But they may set themselves up to be foolish by refusing to run a plan by another person. Sometimes the wisest thing we can do is admit that we don’t possess all the wisdom. God put us here on earth to help each other. Is there someone out there with a wise word for you?
God, let me be a conduit of your wisdom and a hearer of your word, not for my own sake but for yours. Amen.
This devotional by Lillian Daniel also appears in This Is How We Begin: Devotionals and Prayers to Start Meetings, a collection of devotionals intended to center church meetings in God’s wisdom. Order This Is How We Begin here.