Currently my son and his family are actively involved in the church of their choice. He, his wife and their two children at home attend faithfully, regularly, but there was a time this was not true. There were years when he did not seek counsel. When he told me “I have to make my own mistakes,” and I silently wondered, “Do you have to make them all?”
I even used the example of traveling from Oklahoma (where we lived) to New York – use a map. Wouldn’t be better to learn from others’ experiences and travel a known highway? His response was that he would rather find a road less traveled. I did ask if he needed a machete to create a road. Oh, yeah, like that remark would help!
So I tossed a Proverb at him:
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. (Proverbs 15:22 KJV)
I write in my Bible, and there was a note penciled in the late 1970’s right beside that verse:
Learn from experiences others have had.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary says of this verse:
Of what ill consequence it is to be precipitate and rash, and to act without advice: Men's purposes are disappointed, their measures broken, and they come short of their point, gain not their end, because they would not ask counsel about the way. If men will not take time and pains to deliberate with themselves, or are so confident of their own judgment that they scorn to consult with others, they are not likely to bring any thing considerable to pass; circumstances defeat them which, with a little consultation, might have been foreseen and obviated.“Confident of their own judgment” is addressed often in the Bible.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15 KJV)
Unfortunately, that way that seems right often is not:
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12 KJV)
Solomon thought that should be repeated:
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25 KJV)
Maybe he thought we didn’t get the first couple of times:
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2 KJV)
Proverbs alone has 86 verses that use the word ‘wisdom’ or ‘knowledge’ and eight that combine those two words. The first one holds an absolute truth:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)
This one holds a promise:
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:14 KJV)
It is perfectly OK to check a map, seek knowledge from those who have learned not only from their own experiences but from others. There is no need to re-invent to wheel.