A Word of Advice for Young Leaders

Sometimes the church is so desperate and eager for leaders that it puts people in place that haven’t been tested and tried to make sure that they are prepared to biblically lead. Sometimes, we equate a Bible education with maturity and discernment. But there is much to be said about the wisdom that is attained through the application of biblical wisdom in the trials of life that cannot be derived from books. I don’t want to diminish my young brothers and sisters, I was once there. But if the bane of the elderly is that they want to move too slow and be too safe, the trial of young leaders is being unwilling to listen to the wiser voices of experience.

First Kings 12 tells the interesting account of young king Rehoboam and his inexperience as a newly appointed ruler. Rehoboam is quickly confronted with a dilemma and the need for wise counsel. As seems to be the case with many, Rehoboam had no shortage of people who wanted to give him advice. Who doesn’t like playing the game, “If I were the king?” Two groups vyed for the young king’s attention- those elderly men who had counseled Rehoboam’s father Solomon, and Rehoboam’s younger friends whom he had grown up with. After listening to both sets of counsel, Rehoboam agreed with the harsher, immature counsel of his friends, disregarding the ‘old school’ thinking of his father’s counselors.

Proverbs 13:10 wisely states, “By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.” Rehoboam followed his friends’ counsel because it so closely matched his own desires. He refused to take the advice that he didn’t like, no matter how wise it may have been. The result of Rehoboam’s foolish decision was that the nation of Israel was thrust into a civil war and was split into two kingdoms.

Friends, over and over again in Scriptures we are admonished to seek heavenly wisdom and counsel from God and his Word. Personally, I can fail to seek wise counsel at times, or worse, like Rehoboam, I seek it from those most like me who will tell me what I want to hear.

Mediation on Scriptures along with conversations with the elders of the faith (both living and dead) will yield a rich bounty. Why travel down a sorrowful path when we can avoid doing so by seeking out the truth from wiser and more experienced leaders? Brothers and sisters, let us not repeat the foolishness of Rehoboam! 

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