Posted: Wednesday, April 10
At first glance, it can seem as if the Solomon is talking about two different topics; choosing friends and then wicked people leading friends astray. However, I think the NLT version of this verse helps give a more clear explanation:
Proverbs 12:26 - The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray (NLT)
Giving advice to a friend is very important. First of all, it’s always an honor to be approached by anyone who would trust us enough to speak into their life about a particular situation. When people approach me for advice, I tend to get nervous because I want to make sure I tell them the right things. Whatever the advice people may come to us for, be it career, relational, spiritual, I think it is important to say a quick prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to make sure we are passing along the best information. Even if we know what the answer is because of our experience and expertise, it’s important to acknowledge God in the moment so we don’t become arrogant. Also, God may give us an additional bit of knowledge to pass along that we hadn’t previously considered.
We would hopefully never knowingly lead someone astray. Solomon makes it clear that this is the work of a wicked person. However, I think Solomon may be pointing out that a person can receive Godly advice, yet still be led astray by someone with evil intentions. So in addition to passing along good advice, we want to make sure we give others a heads up about ways in which others may try to lead them astray. If we truly care for the person asking our advice, we’ll want to do what we can to help protect them from going down the wrong path. This certainly applies when passing along spiritual advice. In those moments, we must make sure to give guidance directly from God’s word and also give a heads up about how someone may come along and try to tell them something different. Sometimes, it may even be warning the individual about their own negative tendencies that may lead them astray.
So the next time we give advice, let’s make sure to ask God’s guidance fist, and also give a heads up on how people could be led astray.