“For by wise counsel, you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” – Proverbs 24:6
For as long as I have lived, I have seen so many younger ministers let their egos get ahead of their character. For me, I believe that listening to older, wiser counselors is a way to life…and a life that’s full of abundance. Don’t get me wrong, though. I am no where perfect and never will be. I fail at life every single day, and I’m not afraid to admit that. Taking correction is hard for me…as it is for you, you just don’t want to admit it.
I need wise counsel in my life. Without it, my ego would get further away from my character and that is something that I never want to happen.
I believe it to be very important for younger ministers to listen to older, and much wiser counsel. So, this blog is dedicated to those who are considered “younger” and those who lack knowledge, like myself.
Allow me to explain… It was a hot July day and I was working for my step-dad at the time. I was in high school and it was summer time. Like any other youth, I wanted to be soaking up some rays at the lake on a boat, but instead, I was raised up to work for a living. Parents always said, “Work now, play later.” It was probably one of the hottest days I’ve ever worked in and I was told to drive a tractor that had a big brush on the back. My job for the day was to work about a mile strip of road and work that brush to clean off the streets…for 10 hours. Yes, 10 hours. And did I mention it was hot? Well, I remember having to stop one minute for a drink of water and to get a hat, and when I turned the tractor off, an elderly man drove up to me and said, “I’ve been watching you, son, and I’ve noticed that it’s hot out here, so here you go” and handed me a liter of purple Powerade. I said thank you very much and smiled, as he drove off his merry way.
I have never forgotten that day. And never will. To me, it showed me that the generation before me, has paved a way for that I could never pay back. To me, it showed me that the older generation cares about the youth of our world.
I went up to the hospital the other day to visit a man who has been a minister for 50+ years. I remember walking into that hospital room and asking him one question: “What are some of the greatest things you’ve seen as a minister?” And our time went from story telling, to testimonies of God’s grace, to praying for another, and ended with him speaking into my life. I will never forget it. A man who has been in the hospital for many weeks, a man who is tired, ready to get out, his faith is being tested, and he chooses to speak life into me…I will forever be grateful.
Allow the older generation to speak into your life. We need them as much as they need us. Be wise as Scripture says and let someone speak wisdom and correction to you. I would rather be uncomfortable now , then to be real messed up later. I need correction from the elderly. I need help from the ministers who have gone before me. I need the Pastor Jeremy Griffith’s who will tell me when I’m wrong and to support me even when I am wrong. I need the Pastor Rick Bradley’s who will help me see things in a new perspective and how to have grace and mercy on those who have done you wrong. I need the Mike Pongeraytor’s who will tell me to stop complaining about my mountain in front of me, and allow God to stretch me. I need the Pastor David Tennyson’s who will speak into my life by telling me that I have in me something great, even when I don’t feel all that great. I need the Spanky Stewart’s to show me that hard work pays off, and not to be afraid to help someone out even if you have three dollars in your wallet. And I need people like my wife, my mom, my parents, my in-laws, etc. to show me that loving people and caring for people are the two greatest things one can ever do for somebody else.
You see, we need people like this. I have many more people who every day speak into my life – Pastors, Student Pastors, Doctors, my family, and my friends.
Whether you believe it or not, you need older, and much wiser counsel in your life. Next time you are in church, go sit in the back and talk for a few minutes with those who are older than you and just sit and listen to their stories. I promise you will gain something from them. I challenge you to do so.
Learn to learn and watch God do amazing things in and through you!