Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
It is wonderful to have people who care and are able to give good advice. I have experienced this here and there at important times, and continue to do so. And I want to be available to so help others.
I want to say here that it's all about relationship and loving others as God in Christ has called us to do. This proverb is quite interesting in expressing what makes a friend pleasant. It's when that friend really cares and takes the time to give advice in godly counsel.
Notice Paul's words in his letter to the Roman Christians:
I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
We need to have faith both to give and to receive words of wisdom to help each other. Of course to be "full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another" is not something that is automatically true for all of us in Christ. I believe Paul was expressing confidence in the believers at Rome. And that this is for all of us in Jesus. But that it takes some living in the way of the Lord, along with learning in an apprenticeship kind of way. We learn from others who are living this out, and through them from the Lord.
We are to become followers of Jesus, but we learn to do that by following others who are followers of Jesus. This is a way of life that is cross-formed and like Jesus. As we learn to live this out more and more in our real lives, we will begin to be enabled to give heartfelt advice and wise counsel to others, based on God's revelation from Scripture and in Jesus. Just as I have received excellent counsel from others, particularly from one person recently. This person is gifted in counseling and is a blessing to a good number of people. But in a general sense we're to be present for each other in this, ready to both receive and give.
And as we do, it is pleasant indeed!
What might you add here?