Wise Counsel For Leaders

I would like to share some wisdom for every young leader. The success or downfall of a leader will be determined by who they counsel with for advice. We all have seen leaders who make high risk decisions based on no advice or wrong advisors. Below is a passage from the book of I Kings that will demonstrate the effects of a young leader who took the wrong advice.

Here are a few things you should now before reading the story. The king was young and the problem was raised right after inheriting the kingdom. He took the throne following King Solomon who was one of the wealthiest and wisest kings. The problem was that the people asked the king to lower the taxes and here is what he did:

“Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime.”How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked. They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”The young men who had grown up with him replied, “Tell these people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’-tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” (NIV)

Rehaboam went to two different groups of people for advice. The first group was both experienced and wise. The second group was his younger friends without the years of experience. The passage goes on to tell that king Rehaboam rejected the elder’s advice and went with his friends’ counsel. The effect of the king’s decision: the kingdom was split into two.

We can learn a number of things from this passage. Leaders need to seek advice but need to choose wisely the advice they follow. Leaders need to avoid the temptation of taking advice that sounds good or that might come from an inexperienced person. Whatever the leader’s decision they need to be ready for what happens.

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