California Farmer 252:8 (April 19, 1980), p. 35.
Beware of giving advice to people who are really not interested in it. Over the years, I have learned that all too many people who ask for advice do not really want it. They have already decided what they will do, and they come to you for confirmation, not contradiction. If all goes well, they take the credit for their “wisdom.” If things go badly, they blame you for the bad counsel.
Just recently, I heard that both my name and that of another man were being used by someone to justify a course of action. Neither of us gave any such counsel! The man simply told us what he planned to do, and all we did was to listen politely. When he ran into criticism, he cited us as his advisers and his justification!
All of us, however, need advice, and the best place to get it is clearly from Scripture. The necessary word for us all to heed and take to heart is God’s Word. Of all fools, God says, “[t]hey would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof” (Prov. 1:30). If men will not hear God, they certainly will not hear us.
This is why good advice gets nowhere in our time. Men who block out the Word of God make themselves open only to ungodly and foolish counsel. In every generation, this is finally a reason for the downfall of ungodly men and tyrants. Absalom failed in his revolt, because God blinded him to astute counselors, and he listened readily to a man working for David (2 Sam. 17:1–23).
Our reason for refusing to listen to God, or to godly men, is our greater love for our own will and way. We say, in effect, my will be done, and any advice which goes against our will is rejected. We follow our word and then blame God if we run into trouble!
For the worst possible advice, listen to your own will and heart. For sound counsel, hear the Lord.