“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22
“Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.” Proverbs 20:18
“A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 24:5-6
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
I am just beginning to reflect back on my week at General Assembly this year. It was good to spend time in fellowship, worship, and the work of the assembly. I realized how much I had missed it last year when we were unable to meet.
One of my reflections has to do with the record number of appeals and complaints that we had to deal with over the course of several days. We had 9 complaints to work through and 4 appeals. A variety of issues affecting individuals, churches, and presbyteries. A reminder of sin and also a great reminder of grace.
We spent many hours working our way through the details of these items in order to try and prayerfully serve our church and to help our brothers along the way. We didn’t always see things the same way in our deliberations. But in the end, I was reminded of how blessed I am to be a Presbyterian and to be in a church who cares enough to go through the hardships of church discipline. A church who cares for its members enough to work through tough things and to make difficult decisions. There is indeed wisdom in many counselors. Too many times I can think that my perspective and my position is the right one, but when I take the time to listen to my brother I am reminded that I don’t have the only perspective and many good men point out things that I perhaps am unaware of or that I did not consider.
Debate can be lively but also civil. And in any discussion and deliberation we have to always remember to have as our foundation the Word of God and the truth of that Word. We don’t make decisions in a vacuum simply based on opinion. We value the truth.
I appreciate the care and the deliberate way that my brothers handled these delicate matters of the church. Each year I learn more and grow as I listen and interact.
Give thanks for the counselors in your life who hold you accountable to the Word of God. We are blessed when we are not left to our own devices. Praise God for a covenant community of believers in Christ.