The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
– Proverbs 12:5
The principle in this proverbs was expressed by Jesus in terms of a tree bearing fruit only according to its type (Matthew 7:17-19). The word for thoughts means plans or intentions. The intentions of the righteous are the fruit they produce, which fruit is right. The word for counsels literally means steerage and indicates guidance or advice. These are the fruit produced by the wicked and, therefore, they are deceit, or treachery. Kidner observed that we ignore this proverb when we elect leaders based “on the strength of their promises rather than their principles.”