A Few Good Counselees

Parents play pivotal roles in the lives of their children. However, one role that never cease no matter how old the child becomes is that of a counselor. Parents are not the only ones that can give counsel. There are those who may be qualified in specific areas that can contribute significantly to our lives. Whether one agrees with the counsel or not, they can’t deny the counselor’s experience. In these times of moral and economic upheaval, the counselors may be looking for “a few good counselees,” are you available?

The “I know all” stance that has become too prominent in the post-modern mind is lethal. It is an intellectual self-sufficiency that rejects theoretical and practical contemplations other than its’ own. Whether one posses mental prowess or not, that is beside the point. Whether one is considered a fool or an intellectual, both can proclaim to know all, yet both are susceptible to erroneous ideologies and or actions. Since infallibility is a common denominator among mankind, there is a dire need of counsel.

The words of the wise man simmer like ice cold water on the desert floor when he writes: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22 NIV). No matter what version one reads this in—I for one read nine of them—it is impossible to miss-understand the verse. It is a formula for success that is vital for any endeavor; “if you don’t get advice, you will fail. “

A juxtaposition of the two sections of the verse ([a] “plans fail for lack of counsel” and [b] “but with many advisers they succeed”) shows two things[1]. In order for one to be successful there must be יוֹעֲצִ [ya`ats counselors]. The wise man is declaring the need for many advisers and thus giving the advisee multiple perspectives. The many, is not defined and so it leaves the amount of perspectives limitless. The verse does not say what one is to do with the counsels, just that a large amount is beneficial if success is the goal.

On the other hand, the analysis shows that one who does not have counsel will reap a harvest of הָפֵר [parar]. Parar is the Hebrew word use here to describe the result of plans with no counselors. It means, “Break, destroy, frustrate, invalidate[2].

Not all counsel is worthy of application, but they all deserve a hearing. Our finiteness limits us in all categories, but if we work together, things can turn out for the best. Ultimately, the counselor that will not fail is Jesus Christ. He should be the One that is above all else. He is never too busy for an appointment. Are you in need of counsel? Choose wisely.

[1] One should also note that the negative action and its result are shown prior to the positive.
[2]TWOT Hebrew Wordbook entry.


3 comments on “A Few Good Counselees

  1. Thanks Jerry. Yes, we always need counsel. And Jesus Christ is just the right person to get it from. Still, I am not 100% sure if we fail because of the lack of good counsel. Sometimes the plan was birthed at the wrong time or at the wrong season. What do you think?

  2. Hey MizNore,

    You are correct. Plans do fail when they are birthed at the wrong time or at the wrong season. I’m hoping to see a post from you concerning that soon (smile). I will link this post to it.

    However, this is not a comprehensive treatment of what the Bible has to say about plans. Rather it is an exegesis (“the process of trying to understand the intention of the writer at the time when they wrote” [Deep Things of God by Jon Paulien, p.66])of Proverbs 15:22. But after exegesis, application must follow.

    So the focus is twofold: what is Proverbs 15:22 saying and how can we apply it to our lives?

    Now concerning birthing of plans at the wrong time or season, advisers can also counsel you on when you should take the plan into action. Of course the “acting out” of the plan and the “birthing” of it is not the same thing. So perhaps the plan could have been birthed earlier within the dialogues that one has with counselors. It certainly would have arrived within the conversations that one has with Jesus.

    I hope it’s clear, if not, then lets continue the conversation (smile). It is exciting and causes me to go into further reflection. Your question was great and much appreciated.


  3. Jerry,

    Good work, great research.

    I have some concerns. From the dawn of history we have seen many individuals without a dedicated or designated counselor… And these people turned out to be wonderful individuals in the field for the Lord. We, maybe, can refer to some self-learning in the wilderness or plainly in the desert, in exile and in captivity where they held up to higher standards inspired by some invisible counselor(one wonder.)

    Could that be that the ultimate counselor, Jesus-Christ, can fulfill that job just fine in the lives of those without one? or could that also be that we nowadays refuse to listen to the Godly voice that used to lead us not into temptation in the past… Our parents and/or forefathers have experimented it all as an example for our learning privilege.

    Truly, let us engage the debate and shed some lights on where we stand this concerning. I am speaking here in principals but I would be happy to delve into specifics in due time if time permits or the thirst for exploration prevails.

    I must congratulate you once again for taking so much time to lead us into a level of consciousness for these difficult times.

    Eddy Alexandre
    A proud supporter
    Drastex Equity, Inc.

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