Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well. We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails. (Proverbs 19:20-21)
Good counsel is to be sought, not because we need someone else to do our thinking for us, but because we sometimes need to get a clarifying perspective on things. God never asks us to allow others to think for us - to make choices for us that we should be making for ourselves. He asks us to use the wisdom he grants through is Word, wise counsel of others who know his Word, and the best 'knowledge' we have at the moment. Sometimes that 'knowledge' is just the tiny nudges we feel in our spirit - but even these 'nudges' need confirmation through what we find in the Word and what we know to be true about our God. Wise counsel is 'taken' - it is crammed down our throats, nor is it 'happened upon'. There is an active participation in finding truth, adopting truth, and then living by it.
Good counsel is linked to correction here. Why? There are times when the way we have been seeing a particular circumstance may not have been the most accurate observations. We may have formed opinions that have us all muddled up inside and keep us in a place of 'unease' over the issues at hand. When we seek wise counsel, through the study of his Word and the wisdom of another who also studies his Word, we are on the path toward 'correction' of anything that isn't quite true - anything that is not in alignment with the way God sees the matter.
It is true - we spend a whole lot of time brainstorming options and making plans. God may not even be consulted in the entirety of this planning and brainstorming! It is amazing to me how 'well' some of these things turn out when we don't seek God's plans and purpose in the matter. We can never forget that God's grace has probably protected us from great danger. God has a purpose we may not really have appreciated when we plunge ahead in our own schemes and plans. Anytime we exclude his purposes, we are on dangerous ground. This is why he reminds us to seek counsel and accept correction. A word of caution, though....don't seek it if you aren't going to be willing to listen to that counsel. It is like knowing the bridge is out up ahead and then barrelling across full-speed ahead when we don't accept that counsel and act upon it. It is a little too late to seek counsel as we are plunging to a quick immersion in the rushing waters below!
God's purposes prevail - I think this says it all for us. There is nothing in our schemes and plans that is assured of success in the end. When we wait to understand God's plan, then act upon it, we find there is a lasting outcome that otherwise may not have been there. A 'prevailing wind' describes the wind that more consistently than not comes from one particular direction. God's wisdom prevails - it comes from one direction - that which will produce the best things for our lives. Just sayin!
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