Let’s be honest. When we need advice about something, do we head straight for the person we know will be honest no matter what? Or do we reach out to someone we hope will tell us what we want to hear? After all, it feels better to have our own ideas confirmed than to face the fact that maybe we’re on the wrong track. The Bible talks about the importance of seeking wise counsel. God knows we need others to help us gain the proper perspective.
There’s a story in the Old Testament of an ungodly King of Israel named Ahab. He had been led astray by his evil wife Jezebel and did everything God had warned the people not to do. But he was comfortable with the way he was living because he had surrounded himself with “prophets” that kept telling him he was fine. They claimed to be giving him the Word of the Lord, but the only gods they were serving were the pagan gods.
One day when the King of Judah came to visit, Ahab suggested that they team up and go to war with their neighbors. King Jehosophat was prepared to partner with him, but he wisely suggested that they seek the counsel of the Lord before they moved forward. (1 Kings 22:5) So King Ahab called his trustee “prophets” so that they could do as they always did and tell him whatever he wanted to hear. Ahab wanted to go to war, so his ungodly advisers told him it was a great idea! But Jehosophat saw through the blind allegiance of these false prophets and asked if there was a real prophet of The Lord they could ask. Ahab’s response demonstrated just how little he wanted to hear the Word of God. “Yeah. There’s a guy. But I can’t stand him because he never tells me what I want to hear!”
“There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.” – 1 Kings 22:8
King Ahab had no desire to seek God’s will. He knew what he wanted to do, and regardless of what anyone advised, he fully intended to move forward. He just brought his advisors in for good measure. Ahab ignored the prophet of The Lord and did what he had wanted. He felt good about it and his “prophets” felt good about it. At least they didn’t end up in jail for making the King mad like the other guy did. Everyone was happy until the King marched right into his death.
The Apostle Paul warned that one day people would not care what the Word of God says. That instead of seeking godly wisdom, they would find people that tell them whatever it feels good to hear. And we can see the truth of that today. There is an abundance of deceitful information and bad advice in the world. People have gotten so hung up on making sure everyone feels good that they choose to tell them whatever they want to hear. Even churches fill their pews by twisting the truth so people feel comfortable. It is easier to avoid conflict and keep everyone happy. Sometimes the truth hurts, and we don’t want enemies. People are seeking feel-good advice and there are plenty that will oblige.
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:3
As Christ followers, we are not helping anyone when we water down the truth of God’s Word. It is not loving to allow people to be comfortable in a life apart from Jesus that will bring about their eternal demise. When someone wants to know what the Word of God says, open it! Tell them the truth that the whole Bible conveys. God provided only one way for us to be saved. Only Jesus! The truth may hurt, but deception will destroy!
The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. – Psalms 37:30-31