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Elders: Allowing Others’ Wisdom to Shine in our Lives

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us?



We are in a tough stage in our household. Our six-year-old is learning at lightning speed. We have so much to teach him, but at the same time, his spirit of independence and self-reliance is growing at an alarming rate.

Sometimes, in sharing the wisdom we have from experience, we are met with ultimate resistance. He wants to do it his way. We are most probably wrong because he trusts that what he wants to be true, is true. We, as his elders, want to teach, mold, disciple. He grasps at every feeble toehold of independence he can find. He wants to already know, be fully shaped, and need no discipling.

Sometimes, we allow him to fail. Other times, we beg him to trust our years of experience so that he doesn’t have to fail. It is always hard to discern which will be better for him, but we know that at the end of the day, there are some things he really needs to trust us about.

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #advice #listen #elders #disciple

Seeking Elders

We can often be just as resistant in our lives. I cannot tell you how many times, and from how many people, I have heard basic principles about handling my money. Despite having the wisdom of people who have more life experience and more success managing their money pour over me, I resisted; doing what I wanted and crossing my fingers in the hopes that everything would turn out just peachy.

Yet, when the time came that both my husband and I lost our jobs, we were not prepared to be able to survive even a full month on our salary. We had frittered away money on wants we spoke about as needs.

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’

1 Peter 5:5, ESV

The faith that my indwelling wisdom was enough to guide me in this area was full of pride. There is no humility in straying from a tried and true path just because we don’t like the flora surrounding it. We must seek out those who can feed wisdom in our lives. Though we can and will learn from our own risk-taking and failures, there is value in seeking out people to disciple us spiritually and practically.

The Wisdom of Age

So, how do we decide whose wisdom we should follow? Who would be our elders? Obviously, people who are older than us can have wisdom to impart from going through similar stages of life before we did. Their ability to see things from the other side of the finish line should not be dismissed. Why learn from your own mistake when you can learn from someone else’s? Or from their successes?

My father was a smart man, but he struggled to get through college. He took more than the typical four years to graduate. In those years, and in the ones that followed as he pursued his Master’s degree, he learned how he should have studied. He imparted this wisdom to me and my sister many, many, many, many times through our school years.

My sister, much more academically motivated than I, utilized his wisdom far more often than I did. She now has a Ph.D. I did well in college, but did as little as I could to achieve, and achieved far less than I could have. My dad’s wisdom, borne of his own foibles, would have helped me a great deal if I had just applied it instead of taking my easy way out.

The Wisdom of Experience

Sometimes, we go through different experiences at different stages in our lives. Many people raise their own siblings. People marry, have kids, get promotions at different ages. As a couple who married at a later point in our lives than most of our friends, we learn from people who are younger than us in age, but still our elders when it comes to experience. It is important to not just use age as a measuring stick for wisdom. Respect the story as much as the longevity.

Maturity can also be a distinguishing factor in who we rely on for guidance. This can be difficult to assess because it requires self-evaluation that we might not like. It is important, though. We need to recognize if someone is mature enough to choose logic over emotion when we react purely based on our feelings on a regular basis. We need to see balance in others where there is imbalance in ourselves.

Elders in Spiritual Maturity

Additionally, we all come to Christ at different ages and stages. This is a critical area of our lives to be aware of our own maturity, especially in comparison to others. We need to be discipled and we need to disciple others. This cannot happen if the perception of our own spiritual path is skewed. We can’t let pride, or shame, distort the truth.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Romans 12:3, ESV

While I truly believe we must each learn who God is through our own careful study of His Word, it is important to have good judgment about our own weaknesses. We need to listen if someone warns us that our ideas or actions do not accurately reflect the intent of the Word. The only way we can do this is to trust the wisdom of our elders and go back to the Word to reassess our understanding and application.

Favor Listening

In the end, we all want to be heard. It is a common turn of phrase to say that one finally felt heard. We have this need to express our thoughts, opinions, beliefs. Sometimes it is rooted in a desire to be affirmed. Other times we need to feel righteous. But God tells us repeatedly that listening is of far more value than speaking in most cases.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:2, ESV

So, let’s not be foolish. Let’s find wisdom in others. Let’s push aside pride and be willing to learn from our elders. If you do not have at least one person who can qualify as an elder in your life, go seek one today. If you do, really analyze if you are listening to them to learn from their experiences and their relationship with the Lord. Only when we see this discipleship relationship in full action, can we seek opportunities to disciple others, positioning ourselves as elders in their lives.

God tells us repeatedly that listening is of far more value than speaking in most cases. So, let's not be foolish. Let's find wisdom in others. Let's push aside pride and be willing to learn from our elders. Click To Tweet

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #advice #listen #elders #disciple

unsplash-logoJoanna Kosinska

Bold: Living Like Wonder Woman

We all have the ability to fight for love and goodness. We all have the ability to change the world. This post looks to a role model to find out how we can achieve this.



I have loved Wonder Woman even as a little girl. There are stories told of how, at the age of three, I would spin around as I turned into the strong beautiful woman ready to fight evil. I still have a scar on my scalp from when I, as Wonder Woman, was chasing my brother, the villain, and ran into the corner of the wall (I’ve never been super graceful).

This past summer, my husband and I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie. I was once again that little girl. I left the movie theater ready to fight evil. I was ready to fight for love.

Esther is the perfect example of a “wonder woman” in real life. She was in fact very beautiful, but it was her love for the Lord that made her radiate. When I picture Esther, I picture Wonder Woman! It may have been the 12 months of beauty treatments that got the attention of the king, but it was her character that won his favor.

Beauty may get the attention of others, but character is what will win their favor. Click To Tweet


Living like Wonder Woman…

She sought advice.

Esther 2:15-17: When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

She did what was right because it was the right thing to do

Esther 2:21- 23: In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

She used her influence to help others, rather than herself

Esther 4:13-16: Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

She was patient

Esther 5:4-8: And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

She was bold when the timing was right

Esther 7:1-6 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Esther was truly a wonder woman who I want to learn from!



Lord, I desire to be a part of your plan. I pray that I will be humble, and seek advice. I pray that I would be a woman of integrity. I pray that I will recognize the influence that I have and use it wisely and with care. I pray that I will be patient and wait upon you until it is time to act. And I pray that I will act boldly when that time has come. Amen.

 

 

Sean Brown

All scripture used is from the English Standard Version.