This week I went shopping to purchase a new suit. I took my wife with me, as she always gives me an honest opinion about how I look in the clothes I try on. But suddenly, I was whisked away from her by one of the most outstanding sales assistants I have ever come across. She was confident and so convincing, that I found myself agreeing with everything she suggested.
She led me away from the conservative suits I was looking at and she convinced me to try on clothes I would normally never choose for myself. My wife was also bringing me her choice of clothing to try on. It was all a bit of a blur. It wasn’t until I was alone in the change room, trying to do up buttons on a skin tight dress shirt the sales assistant had given me, that I realised she was hoping to sell me clothes that a 25 year old, on his way to a night club, might wear. My wife, on the other hand, was trying to dress me in the clothes a 37 year old school Principal should wear.
Although I thought I looked pretty good in both outfits, I am glad to say I went with the advice of my wife. I know choosing a suit is not necessarily a big life decision, but it did get me thinking about those people in our lives we choose to take advice from. You see, the advice I was receiving from the sales assistant sounded good. I was caught up in her enthusiasm and I began to think this could be ‘the new me.’ But the fact is, she didn’t know me before I walked into the shop and she will have no connection to me the moment I walk out of the store. My wife, on the other hand, knows everything there is to know about me. She knows my past and knows my plans for the future, and she is committed to me long term. Her advice is not about a quick sale, instead it is well thought through and is for my benefit.
As a school Principal, just as with my fashion choices, I don’t like making decisions on my own in isolation. I seek the advice of people I have put around me who will give me wise counsel. After I have received advice from those I know and trust, I can then make the important decisions.
Proverbs 11:14 says: “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
We all need advice from time to time. It might be a small issue like what suit to purchase, or a significant decision about your future. No matter what the decision, let me encourage you, as the Bible does, to seek wise counsel but to also be careful who you seek it from.
At the end of the day, those who know you and love you, those who are closest to you, will give you advice which will also be a reflection on them, so it is sure to be helpful. They don’t want to be the person walking down the street with the guy in the metaphorical tight suit!