“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.” (Proverbs 27:9, NASB95)
One of the blessings of true friend is their counsel and advice. When your soul is heavy, a friend offers guidance that will lift it heavenward. A good friend does not always tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Cherish such a friend. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:6). Better to be wounded by a friend’s godly advice, than to be coddled and flattered by deceptive encouragement. When someone is more interested in supporting you in sinful attitudes or conduct, that is not a true friend. Friends do not have a hidden agenda; your soul is their agenda. They speak the truth to you, not because it is always easy, but because it is right and is the best for you (Eph. 4:25). If you want a friend who gladdens your heart, then be that kind of friend to others. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Prov. 18:24).
Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. (Psalm 119:24, NKJV)
The best adviser in the world is the word of God. It holds the answers to all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). It lights the path to salvation from sin and shows the way to eternal life (Psa. 119:105; Rom. 1:16-17). The testimonies of God give wise counsel to the young and to the old. God’s word gives guidance on how to strengthen faltering marriages and how to protect strong ones. It teaches us practical ways to avoid many of life’s troubles by forming good friendships. And, the list goes on and on. Why then do so few people turn to the Bible and follow God’s counsel? When all the excuses are given, the bottom line may well be because so few “delight” in God’s testimonies. They do not wish to bend to the counsel contained in God’s word. They do not take pleasure in God’s word because they take no pleasure in conforming to it. When one has little faith in God, he puts little stock in God’s word, regardless of the great counsel it contains. Let us accept the counsel of God’s word and bend our will and our lives to it. God’s counsel never leads us astray.