Proverbs 12:15 

15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. 

Paul writes in Romans 8:29 that God has predestined His people to be conformed to the image of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Proverbs assist us in that process, directing us in the way of wisdom and teaching us what it is to imitate our Lord’s character. Today we are instructed to be humble men and women who heed counsel.

The Proverb begins with a warning, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes…” A fool commits himself to a plan of action and concludes it is the best course simply because he has chosen it. He closes himself off from competing counsel. So this is the man who sets himself to marry a woman, or a woman who sets herself to marry a man, that their friends warn them not to marry. It is the young man who seeks, like Rehoboam, the counsel of those who will tell him what he wants to hear rather than what he needs to hear. It is the husband who seeks out his buddies when he is contemplating a new purchase rather than discussing it with his wife. It is the wife who tells her husband her woes not so that he can give her counsel and correct her perception of the situation but so that she can nurse her resentment or bitterness or hurt. The fool is proud, believing that his or her own assessment of the situation is adequate and that he doesn’t need to hear contrary counsel. It is not a sign of foolishness to need counsel; it is a sign of foolishness to need it and not seek it; or to seek it and not heed it. Don’t be a fool.

Instead be a wise man. And what is the character of a wise man? “But he who heeds counsel is wise.” Notice that it is not the man who merely seeks out counsel but the man who heeds such counsel who is wise. Now this, of course, assumes that the counsel received is good. The wise man knows his own frailty, he knows his need for the advice, encouragement, and support of godly friends, so he seeks out their counsel when in difficulty and he implements it in his life. So if you are considering vocational options, whether and whom to date or marry, how to process a severe loss, how to shepherd your children faithfully, how to work through a relationship tangle, etc. seek out godly counsel. This is why God has given us one another, to be counselors in perplexity. Did not our Lord Jesus Himself open His heart to his friends and ask them to pray for Him in His times of need? So if He did, then how much more ought we?

So what of you? Do you count it a sign of weakness when you have to seek out godly counsel? Or do you recognize it as a gift from God that He has put godly counselors in your life whom you can seek? Do you regularly seek out wise counsel when making important decisions or do you think that you can go it alone? Are you proud and unwilling to appear weak in the eyes of others by seeking counsel? Or are you humble and willing to acknowledge your need for help? And then, having sought help, do you listen carefully to the counsel and give heed to it? “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.”

So reminded of our calling to be humble and to seek and to heed wise counsel, let us confess that we are often proud and stubborn and willfully pursue a course of action without seeking godly counsel. And as you are able, let us kneel as we confess our sin to the Lord