Good advice often keeps me out of trouble. Lately, however, trouble has lately taken to blowing me about in monsoon proportions. It will take an entire brain co-op just to keep my head above water! I’m searching for good mentors to show me the way.
Living life “my way” and “going it alone” is not really a helpful strategy. God knows I need direction. He provided for this when he created a world where there is community with others.
The bible teaches…
“…in the abundance of counselors there is victory. “ (Proverbs 24:6)
If I will see myself through the eyes of others and ultimately the eyes of God, I will be better off for the effort.
In a 1960’s radio broadcast in Ecuador, my missionary grandfather, J.D. Clark, shared this story.
A California woman became extremely irritated by the hacking cough of her pet macaw. When the distressing symptom persisted, she took the bird to a veterinarian who checked his feathered patient and found it to be in perfect health. Furthermore, the doctor discovered that instead of having some exotic disease, it had merely learned to imitate the raspy barking of its cigarette-smoking owner. When the lady was informed of this, she was greatly surprised; but the insight she gained into her own problem caused her to stop smoking.”
My grandfather reflected further.
The scripture advises us to weigh carefully the criticism and sincere counsel of others so that we might realistically evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. We will be aided in the development of our character if we learn to see ourselves through the eyes of friends and our enemies, both wise and foolish. By listening to them and looking into God’s word to see what He wants us to be, we will discover that “in an abundance of counselors there is victory.”
We should be ready to profit from the reproofs that we receive from others relative to our character and conduct. We should be aware that often the disagreeable traits we readily see in others are actually a reflection of our own faults!
Someone has said, “The world and the Word are mirrors and give back to every man a reflection of his face.”
S. Paul affirms: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:17, 18)
The verses indicate two things.
1. Wherever God plants His Spirit, true victory and freedom will grow. Within this spiritual truism, I find the boundaries that will keep “trouble” from destroying my life.
2. If I am willing to consider God’s counsel (study the bible and act on its teaching) and listen humbly to His “counselors” (Remember, God can use anything—even a macaw—to teach me,) then I will experience transformation. Sin and fear will not enslave me.
This wonderful formula gives me victory over trouble’s harm, but in it, God and good “counsel” are non-negotiable.