In today’s Bible reading* we read about King Rehoboam who consulted two sets of counselors and heard two very different responses. The people came to him and asked him to be kind to them, unlike King Solomon had been.
First, he consulted the elders who had counseled King Solomon. They encouraged King Rehoboam to lead the people as a servant. They said that if he served the people, they would serve him forever (1 Kings 12:7)
Next, he consulted the young men who had grown up with him. They advised King Rehoboam to tell the people that he would be harsher to the people than Solomon. (1 Kings 12:10-11)
King Rehoboam chose to listen to his young friends, rather than listen to the wise, older counselors. As a result, the people of Israel rejected King Rehoboam and he barely got away with his life. (1 Kings 12:18)
It’s important to surround ourselves with wise counselors. Solomon said, “Without guidance, a people will fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Proverbs 11:14 (CSB) and “for you should wage war with sound guidance— victory comes with many counselors.” Proverbs 24:6 (CSB)
It’s good to have counselors. But you need to be wise with the counselors you choose. If you surround yourself with a lot of people like you, you’ll only hear what you want to hear. But if you surround yourself with a diverse group of counselors, you’ll probably get well-rounded feedback. You may not like what you hear, but you need to hear the input of people with differing opinions. After all, iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)
Jesus knew the importance of servant leadership and told His Disciples, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:11 (CSB)
Paul warned Timothy to be on his guard. “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 (CSB)
This is exactly what happened with King Rehoboam. He listened to unwise counselors who told him what he wanted to hear.
Don’t do that.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Kings 12
2 Chronicles 10