The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
My husband is a man of few words. He is not likely to tell you a long story about his day. Sure, if you start talking to him about his favorite subjects he is a wealth of knowledge… but even then he is tempered. He’s just not one to fill space with small talk. What makes this such an amazing trait is that when he does speak, it’s worthy to stop and listen.
Many times I have come to his with a problem, complaint, or question and he’s left it up to me to make the decision. However, there are times when I sit in awe of the wisdom that falls out of his mouth. He has an ability to see things that I miss, or think of things in a way I hadn’t considered. There have been a number of times where he has stopped me in my tracks, and I’ve found myself pondering a single statement for weeks.
Recently, I had been struggling internally with a decision that would relate to our long term future. This is what I do, I will weigh decisions out in my head for months before I even bring it up to him. I like to come to terms with myself before I bring someone else into my crazy. (HA!) I explained the decision to him, and he listened intently. Then I dropped the bomb:
Do you think I can do this?
His reply…. a single sentence.
The wise man said: “I think you can do it, but I don’t think you should.”
What an answer! It was an answer that didn’t in any way undermine by ability, capability, talent, or skills. In fact, quite the opposite. He was encouraging and supportive, while at the same time discerning and thoughtful. No one has ever said that sentence to me before in the past. Everything in my life has been a black or white answer. Yes you can. No you can’t. You can do anything you put your mind to. You can’t do everything yourself.
For anyone wonder, no he didn’t leave me dangling with that single sentence for long. Of course I wanted to explore what his thoughts were, so a deluge of questions from me followed.
Interestingly enough, my husband thought I was thinking too small. He saw something bigger and greater for me. He was looking at my gifts as a sum total, how they all work together, how they can be used in a way that was far greater than what I saw for myself.
Many of the plans of man seem noble and right, but it should be the plans of the Lord that are victorious. We can do any number of good things, right things, and even godly things but if those are OUR plans or what SEEMS right to us… that doesn’t necessarily mean they are what God wants to happen.
We need to seek the wise counsel of others, it helps us to separate our selfish desires from His call, it helps define and refine the call by giving us a clearer vision or solid affirmation, it invites others in to prayer with us as we move forward in the call, and gives us the encouragement and support we need to do far more than we ever thought possible.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.