By Lewis Willis
The August 1992 issue of Reader’s Digest (p. 29), in a regular column called “Quotable Quotes,” printed what was identified as a Danish proverb. It said: “Better to ask twice than to lose your way once. It seems to me that there is a lot of wisdom in that statement.
How many times have you ever done something that was wrong, after which you realized you could have saved yourself a lot of trouble had you asked somebody about it? Do we not teach young people to ask questions of those who are older so that they can profit from their experience and wisdom? Even though we try to follow this kind of wise approach to our lives, we frequently get the wrong information when we ask. Have you ever asked someone about something, followed the advice they gave, only to find that the one you asked was wrong? I guess I could go on with these questions… .
The wisdom of the Danish proverb is that you are consulting more than one source. You are getting as much in-put as possible in an effort to avoid a mistake. The application I wish to make regarding “asking” is that we must be careful who we ask. Solomon said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). You might be unfortunate enough to ask two people who would both give you an answer based on how it “seems” to them, only to discover that both are wrong. So, in asking, you need to know on what information or evidence they are basing their view.
The Lord said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8). When we ask, we know that what the Lord says will be right. When we seek for answers in the Scriptures, we know that we will find them. The answer to the “issues of life” are to be found in the revelation of divine truth that the Lord gave.
Not every person you ask will give you what the Lord has revealed, so check it out for yourself. Make certain that the Scriptures say what men tell you they say. It is far better to consult the Scriptures twice than to lose your way once. In matters spiritual, to lose one’s way is to lose one’s soul. The soul is too valuable to be lost because of carelessness or indifference (Matt. 16:26). We must be a people who search the Scriptures, studying to learn those things that enable us to stand approved of God (In. 5:39; 2 Tim. 2:15).
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 9 p. 14
May 4, 1995