Counsel refers to a piece of advice, an instruction or a direction given by a person or group of persons to another person or group of persons. There are various spheres in our daily life where counsel is required, be it in academics, business, relationship issues etc. The list is endless. Wrong counsel, therefore, refers to any advice that is not in line with the sound teachings and practices of the word of God. Wrong counsel is an abomination before the Lord because it is disrespectful to the authority and instructions of the living God. As believers, we must be cautious of whom we seek out to receive counsel. The word of God clearly states that we are peculiar people and therefore we do not play by the same set of rules as the world. 1 John 5: 19, 1 Peter 2: 9.
TYPES OF WRONG COUNSEL
- The counsel of the ungodly: An ungodly person is one who does not live his life by the dictates of the word of God. Such a person lives a life that pleases himself and has no fear of God. The things he considers normal will be abnormal to us as believers. They know nothing about the ways of the Lord and are therefore in no position to advise a believer. Psalm 1: 1
- The Counsel from the flesh: This type of counsel is that given based on sentiments. It is given by one who has not mastered the flesh and how to control it. It is a counsel devoid of any spirituality. We must learn to trust God and go with his word because he is the everlasting creator who knows the end of a thing from the beginning. Therefore we can never get it wrong when we go with his instructions through the Holy Spirit. Remember the flesh and the spirit are in constant conflict because what the flesh wants, the spirit does not want. Galatians 5: 16-17
- Counsel borne out of envy: We need to carefully scrutinise any counsel we receive because some counsel by so-called well-meaning people is borne out of envy and no genuine intentions. Remember the story of the two women that Solomon had to pass judgement on. The woman with the dead baby was pushing for the division of the living child into two and this was because she preferred to see the child, dead, as she could not bear to see the other woman happy with her child since hers had died. Envy was the driving force in her making such an appeal to the king. 1 Kings 3: 6-28
- Counsel based on guile: Guile refers to deceit or deception. It is craftiness or cunningness aimed at setting traps or putting in jeopardy an unsuspecting fellow. A counsel based on guile is a piece of advice borne out of deceitfulness with no sincere good intentions. It is aimed at sidetracking the advicee into making wrong decisions detrimental to his best interest. The Lord hates guile, and he sees through every counsel given in guile because He judges the sons of men by the content of their hearts. 1 Samuel 16: 7.
- Counsel based on the traditions of men: Traditions are customs and guidelines that are peculiar to a particular tribe or people but have no foundation in the word of God. The word of God must always have supremacy over the traditions laid down by men (Mark 7: 8 & Acts 5: 29). The word of God is the final authority for a believer on all issues of life. An example is a tradition that says that a man should not take counsel from his wife because she is a woman and must never change his stance on a matter based on her advice, is a tradition straight from the pits of hell!!! The word of God says there is a time a woman shall compass a man to protect him (Jeremiah 31: 22). That is the responsibility of every God fearing woman to give advice and direction to her husband based on the word of God that he may be protected from the snares of the enemy.
CONSEQUENCES OF WRONG COUNSEL
- It leads to the destruction of relationships
- It leads to financial hardship
- It leads to sorrow and depression
- It leads to a missed destiny and life purpose not fulfilled
- It leads to loss of life and properties
The lists of the consequences of wrong counsel are endless. As believers, may we search our hearts and be sincere when we are in a position to counsel others. May we not let envy, guile, the traditions of men etc. becloud our minds when we are dishing out counsel.
May the Lord help us all in Jesus’ name. Amen