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Proverbs 19:20 tells us to “Listen to advice and receive discipline, that you may become wise by the end of your life.” Among many other passages celebrating the virtue of receiving wise counsel, Proverbs 12:15 does so somewhat aggressively when it teaches “A stubborn fool considers his own way the right one, but a person who listens to advice is wise.”
As professional advisors, attorneys are exposed to clients with varying degrees of respect for wise counsel. Some soak it in and follow it, usually to great gain, while others resist and ignore it, usually to great loss. Regardless of how varied clients’ responses are to the advice they receive from attorneys, however, one maxim holds true in all situations: No client has ever regretted getting advice too early. With that being undeniably the case, two courses of action become absolutely necessary for anyone seeking to follow the path of wisdom.
First, it is imperative that believers seek counsel at the first sign of trouble instead of once trouble has gotten out of hand. Too often, followers of Jesus believe that hiring an attorney to assist with a matter is an act of hostility that should be avoided until it is no longer avoidable. Unfortunately, this leaves them at a great disadvantage when they find themselves under-advised and overmatched in complicated situations where everyone else is being advised by counsel and they are not.
Instead of holding to the out-of-date and untruthful mindset that attorneys are only to be hired guns, and thereby only to be deployed when it’s time to shoot, believers must embrace the truth that attorneys are professional problem solvers with many tools available to them to assist in resolving matters outside of litigation or other adversary approaches. It is no secret that the vast majority of lawsuits settle outside of court, so the lawyers who carefully negotiate those agreements can certainly be consulted in matters where a lawsuit has not yet been filed. In many cases, the attorney can help assure that a lawsuit will never need to be filed.
The second necessary course of action for all believers, not just those in potential conflict situations, is to get comfortable with a Christian attorney or law firm who can be ready to assist in the event of trouble. This means consulting with the attorney for non-conflict issues like preparation of a trust so that, when conflict arises, the believer is able to contact someone familiar to assist. Not only does this preparation provide peace of mind for the believer in early times of stress, but it also makes it much more likely that they will hire wise counsel, as they can vet attorneys with a clear mind.
The Proverbs and many other parts of Scripture are clear on the benefits of listening to advice, and that doesn’t just mean waiting for wisdom to wander into our lives and start making suggestions. As believers, we must proactively seek a circle of advisors, and that requires action now to save stress and errors in the future.Read more
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