We have a couple of peculiar phrases in the English language, one is, “I’ll give my two cents worth.” What it means is that an individual is going to weigh in on a particular topic or situation. Interestingly enough the other peculiar phrase is, “Penny for your thoughts.” This is a couched request of a person for input from another person regarding again, a situation or a given topic.
Inflationary factors aside, it is interesting that particular thoughts would go for such a bargain; is it not? My interest is the subliminal suggestion that we have regarding the inflated value of our own thoughts. What that means in simple terms is, “Isn’t it funny that we innocently understand our thoughts to be of significantly more value than the thoughts of others?” Proportionally speaking, we are communicating that our input is worth twice as much as the input of others.
I don’t know if that’s just a product of our western culture, or if that is just a humankind thing; either way Scripture doesn’t support it. Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.” And, Proverbs 11:14 adds, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
The gist is that a foolish person is content with his own counsel and nothing more. The person who is reliant upon himself and no other will have blind spots and is ill-equipped to navigate the waters of life wisely. However, the remedy to such blind spots is often the “rear-view and side mirrors of counsel” from other people. God has made us to rely upon each other for help rather than go it alone, and the presence of a great many counselors assures success in assessing the situation.
It does appear at times that we live in a culture that only seeks to reveal its own mind rather than the corporate mind of wisdom. To counter this, we have 12 people on a jury, or many elders in a church, or multiple persons on a board of a company, and many representatives in the houses of government – to assure a wide-angle view. Let’s face it; we have that same tendency to see things only from our perspective.
When it gets down to it, our opinion is just one of many which may have merit to it; at times, it is probably worth no more than the next person, and certainly not more than that of many wise counselors; corporately a better decision is reached. As believers, we are encouraged to seek advice from the greater corpus of knowledge, particularly Godly counsel from fellow believers, but from knowledgeable people everywhere.
I think the greater lesson to be gleaned from this is that man’s wisdom is one thing, and the counsel of God altogether higher. What a great blessing that God has poured out a measure of the Godhead into every believer; the Holy Spirit resides in every believer to sanctify, lead, convict, and to counsel. Our great gift in the midst of a confusing, and difficult-to-navigate world, is the life-giving direction of God, not the sole counsel of any individual.
Just a reminder, if you are a believer standing frozen at the crossroads of doubt and uncertainty, God is there with you; His Spirit is within you, and He desires to lead you in the best direction…Just ask. And then listen. Talk to others.
Oh yeah, and then proceed where He directs.