My husband and I pray regularly for God to open and close doors in our lives. We ask Him to open the doors He desires us to pursue, and to close the doors we should avoid. Imagine my surprise and delight when I received a job offer for a position for which I had not even applied. I was flattered to be sought out. It seemed to be a good fit in terms of skill and experience and had a great potential for advancement. I could only see the advantages, and there were lots of them. However, I also felt a sense of uneasiness that I could not pinpoint.
As I shared about the opportunity with those closest to me, they expressed support. My uneasiness increased. Only one friend shared reservations which led me to seek the opinion of a trusted authority outside my immediate circle. He asked me questions and pointed out the difficulties with accepting the position. I was shocked at my inability to see the things so readily apparent to him, and I felt grateful for his insights.
As nice as it is to be an independent thinker, there are times when I am simply shortsighted. I need the perspective of others to develop a fuller understanding of the issues at hand.
God’s Word says it like this…
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice (Proverbs 12:15 ESV).
It is harsh to be called a fool. I certainly don’t want to be one. However if I believe that I do not need the input of others and that I can figure things out all by myself, that’s exactly what I am. A wise person listens to advice from trusted advisers.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22 ESV).
I may be gifted at strategic thinking and skilled at developing plans, but my insight alone is limited. Multiple ideas from various angles come from well-rounded teams. Plans succeed with many godly, wise advisers.
What are other benefits of seeking advice?
Objectivity. It is hard to see clearly when we are deeply invested in the situation. Emotions can cloud judgment. Effective advisers stand back to help us see the things we miss.
Feedback. We are not the best gauge of our progress. Advisers instruct us, pointing out areas needing correction. We learn from others as we listen to them.
Encouragement. Even with a good plan, sometimes it is difficult to move it forward. Advisers see where we are and exhort us to keep going. They remind us that there is value in what we desire to achieve.
As a young woman, I thought it was a sign of wisdom and strength to make decisions on my own. Now I firmly believe the opposite is true. Seeking advice is a sign of great wisdom and strength.
Are there areas in your life and leadership where advice would be beneficial? Who do you consider to be your wise, trustworthy advisers?