Why is it that human beings sometimes refuse to seek or take advice that could save them from making mistakes, being injured, and “having to learn the hard way”. We are all prone to want to do things our own way, aren’t we? One of the most common reasons that adults do not get counsel is that he or she simply does not want to admit that help is needed or that they have made a mess of things. Others know that the answer will not be what they want to hear or do not want to face the changes that might need to be made. Some people just assume that things will work out for the best or that there is no one who really understands their questions or predicament. Helpful counsel can come to people in many different forms and from many sources. The question then is whether they will hear it and take it seriously.
While Moses may not have realized how much he needed the advice that he got from his father-in-law, Jethro, he listened to it and made wise decisions. He must have been very grateful to Jethro for taking care of his wife and 2 sons during the tumultuous time when he was in Egypt. He must have admired his wife’s father for the ways in which he influenced his daughter and grandsons while they were with him. He must have developed an enormous amount of respect for Jethro’s character, good judgment and devotion because when Jethro came to him with some sound advice, Moses was eager to listen. Not only did he want to hear his counsel, but he took it seriously and immediately followed the suggestions. The impact of following these wise words and ideas no doubt made an enormous difference for Moses and certainly for the people of Israel as they continued their long and arduous journey toward the Promised Land.
Years later Solomon reminded the people (and us) that “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others” and “plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” (Proverbs 12: 15 and 15: 22) Who do you go to when you need counsel or wisdom?