Proverbs 11:14

Safety in Counsel

Where no counsel is, the people fall:


1. People fall…

a. People are DEFEATED through a lack of counsel and good spiritual advice.

b. Solomon states here that with a little bit of counseling, those who might have experienced victory, instead experience defeat — a fall.

c. Businesses fall because of a lack of counsel…

d. Teams lose games because the players refuse to listen to their coach and demand on playing the game their way…

e. Marriages fail because someone is too proud to get help… to listen to advice from the Bible… or refuse to implement it.

f. People make terrible choices sometimes because they make important decisions on their own. They don’t get advice from those in the know.

g. If I went to the doctor and he told me I needed to have a leg amputated, I would want a second opinion… and maybe a third and a fourth!

h. You don’t make big decisions like that without getting much counsel… the best counsel you can find!

i. People FALL by not getting the counsel they need. Sometimes terrible decisions are made with irreversible consequences!

2. Prov. 15:22 – Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

a. Purposes are disappointed as a result too.

b. Purposes: our goals; our plans; that which we are aiming for…

c. They can be disappointed if there is no counsel.
• Disappointed: frustrated; cracked; split; made ineffectual.
• Our goals in life… our best made plans can be frustrated and made ineffectual by a lack of good counsel.

d. No one likes to be disappointed… to have their plans and goals smashed… crushed… frustrated…
• But without wise counsel, that is what often happens.
• A person may have a great goal… and may put his all into accomplishing it… and work as hard as he possibly can to achieve it… but may fail to obtain because of a lack of counsel.
• A young person may think, “I know what I want to be. I want to start a business. I want to start up my own nursery. I know a lot about planting trees and shrubs. I don’t need to go to college for that.” That person may try their whole life to bring that plan to pass… but may be lacking some important and necessary business management training… and never get anywhere. A little counsel may have changed that.
• A person may have to confront a Christian brother on an important issue… and he does so the best he can. However, a little counsel from the Scriptures might help that meeting go much more smoothly.

e. Often, all it takes for plans to be successful is a little tweaking here or there.

f. Wise counsel from people who have expertise in that area might mean the difference between success and failure.
• A coach might transform a lousy batter into a pretty good batter with some simple advice about how to stand or how to hold the bat!
• A skier can be spared falling down many times by taking advice from an expert—something as easy as bending the knees or leaning forward. Such counsel can prevent a fall.

g. How much MORE important is it when it comes to spiritual matters!
• The believer who thinks he knows how to live the Christian life may never ask for help or advice or counsel.
• He may never grow or mature in the faith either!
• He may WANT to grow and advance in the faith… and try real hard. But without counsel, even good purposes fail… and leave us disappointed.
• Perhaps you’re having a hard time getting along with people. Have you ever thought of asking advice from a trusted friend?
» He may know! Perhaps you talk too much. Perhaps you are not reliable. Perhaps you have some annoying habit that makes people not want to be around you. Perhaps you are too nosey. Perhaps you are too quiet… or too loud.
» Counsel from a trusted friend might be just what the doctor ordered.
» Prov. 27:6 – faithful are the wounds of a friend. That kind of counsel might hurt, but is GOOD in the long run.

h. Failing to obtain such counsel or failing to listen to such counsel can result in disappointment or a fall—or a disappointing fall!

3. Why do some folks refuse to seek counsel or take heed to counsel? Often the reason is pride.

a. Prov. 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

b. If he thinks his plans are superior and he doesn’t need any counsel and that the way he is doing it is right—then he will never receive the benefit from good counsel. That’s pride.

c. Sometimes we do things the hard way because we think we’re right… and won’t admit that perhaps someone else has a better way of doing things.

d. I’ve learned some valuable tricks on the building projects… ways to straighten out a crooked stud… better ways to cut siding… easier, neater, stronger, more accurate ways to fit things together.

e. Why reinvent the wheel? If a brother or sister has learned some valuable lessons in life and wants to share them—by all means LISTEN!!

f. It is only the fool who says, “My way is right. I don’t need any advice thanks!”

g. Prov. 16:22 – Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

h. If we insist on doing things our own way, and are too proud to take advice, we will experience much disappointment and failure in life… unnecessary disappointment and failure!

But in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

1. The opposite is now mentioned: those who seek a multitude of counselors!

a. It is GOOD to get advice before making an important decision. It is good to get a second and third and fourth opinion!

b. Different people approach problems from a different perspective… and there may be a different perspective that never entered your mind… but it DID enter someone else’s mind!

c. It is wise to seek counsel from godly folks who might have a different perspective than you do.

d. In making decisions for the church it is wise to get counsel from men… and also from ladies. They are going to view the matter from a different perspective… from a different set of concerns… a different outlook.

2. Multitude = abundance;

a. It is possible to get TOO MANY opinions and cause more confusion.

b. But get AMPLE… an abundance for the situation… plenty… don’t skimp on advice.

c. Get GOOD advice. Ask spiritually minded people for help and guidance… folks who know God and who know His word.

d. When you get a multitude of spiritually minded people all pointing you in the same direction… all telling you the same thing… that is a good indication that the counsel is sound!

e. If you are debating whether to go into business with Fred and you ask two people, you might get two different answers… and cause confusion and cloud up the issue.

f. But if you ask 25 people about going into business with Fred and 23 out of 25 tell you that Fred is lazy and dishonest, stay away—you would do well to listen to that multitude of counselors!

g. Two opinions might confuse the issue. A multitude may clarify matters considerably.

3. Prov. 24:6 – For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

a. Here Solomon suggests that we get WISE counsel before entering into a war.

b. Kings might have to be concerned about declaring war. We don’t.

c. But we may have to face a different kind of confrontation… confronting a brother who sinned against you… confronting a boss… a neighbor…the pastor… your spouse… over this or that.

d. It’s a good idea to bounce your proposed plan off a trusted friend before plowing ahead like a bull in a china closet. They might have some advice that could save you a lot of grief…

e. They might just say something like,
• “I don’t think you should. It sounds to me like your boss was right!”
• Or “I don’t think now is the time to approach that subject.”
• Or “I would wait until you cool down. You’re not thinking straight right now. You might make matters worse.”
• Or “I think you’re right. That person ought to be approached, but have you thought of wording it this way…”

f. You’d be surprised what good advice others might offer… if we ask… or are willing to listen.

g. Kids—you’d be surprised what good advice your parents might have—advice that might make life easier and more pleasant for you in dealing with your teachers… classmates… or siblings…

h. They might even know something you don’t know!

4. There is SAFETY in such counsel.

a. Safety = deliverance…

b. In other words, wise counsel results in providing DELIVERANCE from the problem… solutions and resolutions to problems…

c. Getting wise counsel will keep you out of trouble… it will keep you safe… it may even prevent you from doing something stupid!

5. Prov. 20:18 – Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

a. Purposes are disappointed without counsel. (15:22)

b. Now he states that purposes are established WITH counsel.

c. Established: made firm; stable; secure.

d. Do you want your plans and purposes to be disappointed or to be established? Wise counsel can make all the difference in the world.

e. Kids: your parents WANT your life to be a success—spiritually and in every way!
• They really DO want to help.
• And (believe it or not!) they have learned some valuable lessons in life they would LOVE to share.
• What keeps you from getting that valuable counsel that might help firm up your plans for life? Pride!
• If you think you know it all and your parents don’t know anything… you are what Solomon calls a FOOL. Your purposes WILL be disappointed.
• But if you will humble yourself—and listen to advice when it is given—you will prosper as a result.
• YOUR plans and purposes in life will be established…

f. Adults: the same principle is true for adults too.
• Sometimes folks think they have all the answers and refuse to seek counsel from a Christian brother.
• After all, what do the elders know? I know what they’re going to tell me.
• We can be just as stubborn as our kids at times = when we refuse counsel.
• But if we will humble ourselves, and listen to wise counsel, our plans may prosper!

g. Acts 15:6 – And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of the matter of legalism. They sought counsel from one another… and their purpose was established.

h. Prov. 1:5 – A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.

i. Prov. 9:9 – Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

j. Prov. 19:20 – Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

k. Prov. 27:9 – Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Rom. 15:14 – And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Col. 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

I Thess. 5:12-13 – Know those who are over you in the Lord and admonish you… and esteem them highly…

II Thess. 3:15 – Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.