Wisdom arising from a process of godly refining through the fires of adversity or the crucible of suffering is wholesome food for the soul. We are well fed as the Spirit bears his fruit in our labours of love to the specific ends he desires in us and in those around us.
Perhaps fallen from branches which have sustained and nourished us to this point, leaving behind seasons of spiritual growth which have shaped and filled us in the past, we search for the wisdom of the Spirit in the ripened fruit of godly counsel for a different stage of life and witness born of the same seed of Christ at work in the core of our being.
Perhaps battered and bruised by chances taken to see the wider church flourish, having taken a beating of persistent problems through which a whole new purpose may be found, we fall to the ground in praise and surrender to be used as he wills.
Worldly wisdom tells us to avoid such humiliation at all cost. Jesus tells us to take up our cross as we trust him to preserve our life and spread his love. Which word will we hear?
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Prov. 25:11)
Here are a few proverbs I’ve gleaned from surrounding landscapes and underhanded troubles regarding the aptness of words by which we may live when facing problems as those who lead with servant hearts.
I’ll leave it to you to decide how wise they may or may not be …
‘Figuring one can overcome the reason of unspiritual hearts and minds in our own strength is like figure skating with words on a frozen lake about to thaw.’
‘A lone loon cries for its companion with a haunting call as a servant left alone on open waters relies on the call of Christ on his or her life to face the daunting silence of abandonment.’
‘Standing on the words of God when all about is shaking and in upheaval is like building on the solid rock of a Canadian Shield outcropping though perhaps quaking in our boots as we wait for his deliverance to be revealed.’
‘Trying to gather up tidbits of gossip and rumour, untruth by untruth, is like raking autumn leaves on a windy day.’
‘Moving forward without taking time to remove the chill of misunderstanding is like heading out for a drive on a winter morning without first scraping the frost from the windshield.’
‘Unity of purpose as we toil together in the gospel is like golden maple syrup having all impurities boiled away with only sweet goodness left behind.’
‘Waiting for justice before we extend words of forgiveness is like waiting for tropical plants to grow in a land of unforgiving cold before we allow ourselves to fully live.’
I would be pleased to post any ‘replies’ you leave containing your own original proverbs for problems faced in leadership to share with other readers on this journey of faith together.
‘Lord, as the apple of your eye, we turn to you to find new strength and courage to live by words of gracious wisdom which point us to your love for us in Christ when problems drop to the ground all around us. Help us to ponder the words of truth you desire for us to take in which are able to transform us into faithful servants who offer the fruit of your life in every season. Amen.’
“To make an apt answer is a joy to man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15: 23)
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on the Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 1-8)