Be First to Take Your Good Advice

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding. That you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one. Proverbs 5:1-3 & 8-9

It doesn’t take a leader very long to realize that it’s easier to give good advice than to follow it. Solomon proves the point. He tells us repeatedly and with great conviction that only fools fall into adultery. Solomon knew very well the spiritual issues at stake in marriage, for he declares, “The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21).

And yet, somehow, this same leader failed to heed God’s explicit warning against kings taking many wives (Deuteronomy 17:17). Solomon blatantly disobeyed this command and married seven hundred women. The result? “His wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11:4).

Wise leaders not only give good advice; they heed it. How different the fortunes of Israel might have turned out had Solomon acted on the wisdom he so forcefully expressed to others!

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