Of Counsels And Counsellors: Sifting the Chaff From the Wheat- 3
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” is a rule that most people practice, howbeit, clandestinely. The subtle nature of these friendly enemies makes it difficult for you to identify them. If perchance, the situation presents itself and they are smoked out, instead of crying of being betrayed just thank your stars that you came out alive. They can be very deadly. They won’t leave you until they see your very end!
When Absalom rebelled against David, his father, and wanted to take the throne forcefully, none of the soldiers who took sides with Absalom scared David. But when he heard that Ahitophel, his trusted and competent counsellor had taken sides with Absalom, David was troubled and he had to call on the Lord, his God for divine intervention. That alone tells you of the importance of a competent adviser.
David, instead of giving in to despair, quickly devised a means to counter the counsels of Ahitophel. And in doing that, he sent his trusted adviser, Hushai, to go and pledge allegiance to Absalom. The game was to have the opportunity of not only countering the great counsels of Ahitophel but to also inform David of the plans so they should not be taken unaware.
Absalom suspected Hushai when he came back to join him, thereby betraying his former master, King David, but he somehow gave him the benefit of the doubt, to his own undoing!
After Ahitophel had given Absalom the counsel that would have brought the battle to an abrupt end with a sweet victory for Absalom, it was Hushai, that discouraged him from taking the advice and in so doing, Absalom missed the opportunity. The end result, Absalom died in the battle and never became King of Israel.
With due respect to the divine intervention in the turn out of the event, there are still vital lessons to learn with respect to the topic of discussion.
Firstly, Hushai was not loyal to Absalom, his loyalty was tied to David. His closeness to Absalom was for a sinister agenda, and he achieved it at the detriment of the ambitious young man.
When someone advises you, always check his intentions. Nobody will love you more than you love yourself, ao ask yourself, why is this person interested in this project? What does he stand to gain?
If the interest of your counsellor is ambiguous or shielded in “I am just helping you”, watch your back!
Secondly, know your competitors and don’t take their counsels without critiquing. There are people who are secretly competing with you, they are intimidated by your success and so would do all within their power to keep you at their level or to put you beneath them if possible.
They will smile and congratulate you when they can’t have their way, but if you make them your advisers and take their counsels hook line and sinker, they will crush you!
Don’t be fooled!
Thirdly, develop your instinct and learn to trust your own judgment. It will preserve your soul and save you from unnecessary manipulation from friends and family.
The heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it?
Be vigilant, be watchful and wise!
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.