A multitude of wise counselors.
There are so many fascinating trends in our culture that have been accelerated by the pandemic. The one that most concerns me is the growing epidemic of isolation and loneliness. Pew, Gallup, Barna, Cigna, Harvard, and everyone else who has been following these data points agrees that it’s getting lonelier out there. And it’s getting lonelier faster. And for good reason, there is a great deal of conversation about the implications of these statistics for deteriorating mental and physical health, for increases in depression and suicide, and for the renting of social fabric.
But I also wonder about the very practical challenge that comes with having fewer wise counselors in our lives, fewer trusted advisors and mentors, fewer groups we can go to with life’s big (or small!) decisions. People whom we can approach to say, “what do you think about this?” or “will you pray about this for me and tell me what you hear the Spirit saying” or “help me process this and get some clarity.”
Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. (Prov 15:22)
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. (Prov 11:14)
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Prov 12:15)
For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Prov 24:6)
I have a Friday morning group that studies scripture, prays, and is simply there for one another when it counts. I go to this group with all sorts of life decisions because they consistently provide wise, Spirit filled counsel. And they’ll put me in my place when I start to veer off course.
We inhabit a culture immersed in narratives of rugged individualism, self-actualization as an end, and the lone ranger mentality. Perhaps one of the most prophetic ways to witness to God’s good news is to draw upon a multitude of wise counselors, to experience true koinonia, to have fellowship even in disagreement, indeed in suffering, to insist that following Jesus is something that must be done with others, together, as we stumble along this discipleship journey at different paces.
Who is your multitude of wise counselors?
If you can answer that question quickly, great. Praise God! Tell those wise counselors thank you. Let them know what it means to you.
And if you’re on the lookout for such a multitude, our TMC staff would be happy to lend an ear and point you in the right direction.