Until now, I didn’t realise that our actions or reactions based on given advice which we yield to when faced with confusion over issues might be different if we had seek for counsel. Yes! You are wondering what’s the difference between the two words (advice and counsel) because they are synonyms. Again until now, I would wonder too. Although, the words are relatively used in similar context to provide information for guardianship there’s one that gives a greater depth which will relatively limits one’s mistakes/regrettable actions.
Let’s begin with the literary definition: Advice is the guidance or recommendation offered with regard to prudent action. E.g. “my advice is to see your doctor”.
Counsel is advice, especially that given formally. E.g. "with wise counsel a couple can buy a home that will be appreciating in value". Take note the couple have taken the advice to get a home but needs wise counsel to get one that's not just of good value but continues to appreciate (increase) in value.
Basically, advice is given based on knowledge/understanding of a situation mainly at the surface level which will yield surface value and lasts for a short time. But counsel is given by wisdom, in-depth understanding of a situation (simply the rightful application of knowledge). Such in-depth understanding results from the ability to compare both previous and present situation which could determine the end product of today’s action positively. This will last for a long time.
The story of King Rehoboam shades a brighter light on the words. He needed to make a decision after ascending the throne which will determine the willingness of his subjects to be loyal to him and in 2 Chronicles 10:6 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? In summary; they asked him to be kind and be fair to the people. He went further to seek advice from the young men that grew up with him in 2 Chronicles 10: 9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us?
He was told to be the exact opposite of what the elders that served with his father and understood the situation as a result of their deep understanding and took the advice of his age-mate. 2 Chronicles 10:13-14, And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
Basically your reactions to confusing situations will and can determine if you’re yielding to the advice of your age-mate or the counsel of the elders. Now don’t get it wrong. Having the rightful counsel isn’t necessarily based on age but your depth of understanding and source of information. Advice can be easily given based on human understanding but counsel comes from the Lord. One of the duties of the Holy Spirit is to counsel you. And when he’s the one doing the thinking and speaking you can't make mistakes. Seek His counsel! Cheers!!