I’m all about direction…about direction…no trouble
For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. (Deuteronomy 32:28)
We old geezers may not be tuned into every hip gadget that comes off the assembly line, but at our advanced age we have learned a thing or two. Wisdom is based the accumulated knowledge of life; not your I.Q. It is not that we are more intelligent than those behind us; it is just by simple longevity that we have acquired some good sense. If I want to know which smartphone to buy, I will ask an electronics whiz; but if I want to know more about the deeper things of life, I will consult an old sage.
Wise counsel is a unique gift that lends itself to good guidance; direction that can enable us in avoiding some of the previous poor decisions and mistakes of our elders. Proper direction is absolutely necessary, because poor choices and errors have consequences that affect the lives of others; even beyond those who chose the wrong direction. Sometimes the consequences are far-reaching and can last for a long time. Most of us can probably think of at least one example of a poor decision that affected a wide circle of individuals, perhaps even for generations.
Those of us who have been around for a few years have an opportunity, and the responsibility, to share our wise counsel with the younger generation. Any reasonably thinking and compassionate person should want to lend a helping hand to break the cycle of harsh and detrimental consequences that often result from poor decisions and misdirection.
It is the elders who must tell the children and youth “No!” or “that is not a good idea” when these children and youth seek to implement some dangerous or poor course of action.
Unfortunately, wise counsel is not always well received. None of us likes to hear the word “No” when we are seeking to hear a “Yes.” It has been my experience as a pastor that most persons who request counseling have already made up their minds as to which direction they are going to take long BEFORE they even schedule an appointment. So why come to me for counsel? In reality, they are only looking for my stamp of approval on their predetermined choice.
Wise counsel is more than simply good advice; it usually deals with making difficult choices. A person can get an abundance of good advice about which new car to purchase, but the “wise counsel” they may get from an old sage is “Wait until you have paid off all of your credit card debt before considering such a major purchase.”
Wise counsel will come from those who know the difference between:
What is ultimately good and what is just currently popular.
What is earned and what is only borrowed.
What is achieved by hard work and what is just good fortune.
Being happy or just having fun.
What is beautiful and what just looks attractive.
Love or lust.
What is true and what is just a matter of opinion.
What is wise and what is foolish.
What is a divine blessing and what is a demonic temptation.
What can last forever and what is only temporary.
Humble worship that glorifies God and pride-filled religious rituals that offend God.
There certainly cannot be any doubt that our younger generations, and even a significant number of adults, need the benefits of wise counsel in the course of the lives that they are pursuing and the decisions that they are making and considering. Many of the very basic foundations of social order in the world are being drastically changed or severely threatened. It may be too late to save some social structures from collapsing because of years of poor decisions and faulty direction that have occurred in their cultures, but it is never too late to give the gift of wise counsel to those youth and others that you can reach.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. (Proverbs 19:20)