The wisdom of Sirach teaches us that there are three sources we ought to seek out for help when making decisions:
- A Religious man who keeps God’s commandments.
- Our own heart/conscience
- Prayer for God’s help in making a good decision.
Sirach warns us against seeking advice from sources that cannot be relied on:
- Treat not with a man without religion concerning holiness,
- Nor with an unjust man concerning justice,
- Nor with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous,
- Nor with a coward concerning war,
- Nor with a merchant about trade, (How many of us get our information from the catalogs that are designed to encourage us to buy their products! Sirach says that this is not wisdom.)
- Nor with a buyer of selling,
- Nor with an envious man of giving thanks,
- Nor with the ungodly of piety,
- Nor with the dishonest of honesty,
- Nor with the field laborer of every work,
- Nor with him that worketh by the year of the finishing of the year,
- Nor with an idle servant (employee) of much busines
How often do we ignore this obvious wisdom! How many are seeking advice from people who do not share their goals and principles! How many religious people seek the advice of irreligious doctors. How many seek professional advice from non-Christian counselors. How many listen to advice from people whose lives are not exemplary.
Let us seek only the advice of those who can be trusted, and realize that the advice of a religious man is more valuable than an “expert” who claims to know a particular area of life but does not understand life itself.
– Sirach 37