You may remember David Bloom, the Today show co-host on weekends, who died in 2003 while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Bloom, however, did not die from injuries sustained in conflict, but rather of a pulmonary embolism. This condition occurs among those who sit for long periods of time, and Bloom spent most of his time in a cramped Army vehicle.
When Bloom began experiencing pain, he consulted several doctors. Frederik Balfour, a reporter with Business Week online wrote: “He consulted military doctors and described his symptoms over the phone to overseas physicians. They suspected DVT, or deep venous thrombosis, and advised him to seek proper medical attention. He ignored their advice, swallowed some aspirins, and kept on working. On Sunday he died of a pulmonary embolism.”
Ironically, Bloom took several precautions to avoid becoming a casualty of war but ignored the warnings of doctors who insisted that his life was in danger from a treatable condition.
Our word of the week is “counsel.”
The wise man wrote, “In an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov 24:6). The challenge, of course, is to obtain the right kind of counsel. Of discerning from good counsel and bad counsel. Righteous counsel from wicked counsel. Wise counsel from foolish counsel.
The Hebrew word, Tahbulah, translated “counsel,” is said to be related to a sailor and originally may have referred to “boat steering skill. Later the word was used figuratively to mean “the skill of steering or guiding actions.”
Few, if any of us, are wise enough to know all the answers and have the proper perspective to every situation to always steer our lives in the right direction. Whether the advice we’re seeking is marital, medical, financial, or relating to some personal decision, the counsel of an objective third party is helpful to guide us.
Spiritually, it is no less true that we need counsel. However, it is important that the counsel we receive come from godly people. The Psalmist warned for the righteous not to “walk in the counsel of the wicked” (Ps 1:1). Those who have “rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High (Ps 107:11), ought to be avoided. Their advice will lead you down a destructive path.
We must be wise enough to realize that the only right counsel spiritually will come from those who are hearing, heeding and walking the counsel of the Lord. Sadly, some Christians make some of their most important life decisions on the counsel of those whose values are not Biblically based.
When making spiritual decisions, seek the advice of a godly pastor, or trusted preacher who is watching out for your soul. And when weighing any decision, Leonardo da Vinci’s advice is sound: “Ask counsel of him who governs himself well.”
Counsel, of course, is of no value if we’re not willing to listen to it. In the case of David Bloom, he received sound medical advice and chose to ignore it. Too often, I have witnessed a similar scenario of people seeking spiritual counsel regarding their family or marriage and totally disregard it. And always ultimately to their destruction. Yes, “fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).
Finally, Oswald Chambers in Utmost For His Highest, offered this advice: “We should get in the habit of continually seeking (God’s) counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense decisions and then asking Him to bless them.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman