Before you do it, ask around.
FEBRUARY 7, 2024
Before you do it, ask around. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer for the program, and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under do more, try harder religion for too long, and Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying Proverbs by subject, and there are a lot of subjects in the Book of Proverbs as you and I both have found out. Proverbs goes everywhere, every place, every time, and speaks wisdom. And the reason we’re doing this series is to help me and to help you be street-smart Christians. Okay, another subject. This is in Proverbs 11:14.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall. But in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.
That’s Proverbs 11:14. You have people around you that you trust, that you can check with. You know what I did when I was a pastor? I picked five people in the congregation. And this wasn’t something I did until I’d been with a congregation for months and months. And I picked out people who loved me, people I trusted, people who always spoke the truth, and people who were wise. And I went to each of them and I said, Look, I’m going to make you my counselor. And you have to be very careful what you tell me, because whatever you tell me, I’m going to do. And I would sometimes tell them the story about the farmer who went out with his dog into his fields and he forgot something and he told the dog to stay there with his lunch and he went back to the farmhouse to get what he forgotten and a tornado came and killed the dog. And the farmer when he found out started crying he said I had to be careful what I told that dog, cause I knew he’d do it. Well, I’d say to these people, You’ve got to be careful what you tell this dog, your pastor. Because you need to know that whatever you tell me, I’m going to do. Cause I need your counsel, and I need your wisdom, and I need your help. My mentor, Fred Smith, was a part of a dying directorship. A man in his church was dying, he had a year to live, and he appointed a bunch of guys to surround him in his death. And he said, Sam, you’re going to look over my finances, and I want you to advise me about financial matters. He said to his pastor, I want you to be my spiritual death director, and I want you to oversee my death so that I die in a way that my Christian friends will say to their unbelieving friends, come and see me die. And he went to somebody else and he said, I want you to be my family death counselor. And I want you to look after my family during this very hard period and during this time of my death. And he left Fred out, and Fred Smith, my mentor said, What do you want me to do? He said, Oh Fred, you’re my bull detector. I want you to listen to everything these other guys say, and I want you to tell me if they’re lying or telling me the truth. And so Fred would laugh and said until the day of his death, I was the filter through which everything else went. That man, and by the way, I knew him, his name was Jim, that man was very, very wise. Not only in death, but also in life, make sure that you have people around you that you trust. And that you check things out with them before you make a major move in your life. I have pastors who, and I believe in strong leadership by the way. I don’t believe you lead by committee. So, I’m for strong pastors, but I have pastors who are so strong, they don’t want anybody to speak into their lives close to them. They want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, with no restraint whatsoever. Listen, if you’re a pastor and you feel that way, you stop it. You cannot minister that way, and you shouldn’t be going to a church pastored by somebody who is unaccountable to somebody else. And so, the Book of Proverbs teaches a very wise thing.
Where there’s no counsel, the people fall. But in the multitude of counselors, there is safety and wisdom.
You know what I did yesterday? Yesterday, and we sometimes go to Canada for our Key Life Canada board meeting. But yesterday we did it with zoom. We went to the boardroom here at the Key Life building, and we met with all of our Key Life Canada board members. And I love those guys. When I use guys generically, there are women on the board too. And we’ve been friends for a hundred years. And they’ve stuck with Key Life and with me during all of that time. And I was looking at the big screen in our conference room at each of these people and thinking. I hate meetings, by the way. If I go to heaven and Jesus calls a meeting, then I’m in the other place. I mean, there’s no such thing as a good meeting. I have a friend who’s a professor that said they had a faculty meeting that lasted only eight minutes. And she said it was a good meeting. I said, no, it wasn’t. It was eight minutes of awful. But I was, while the president of Key Life was going over the financials, I was looking at the pictures of those people on the screen, and saying, God, you must like me a lot. Thank you for their wisdom, and their love. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. What a great word about the importance of surrounding ourselves with a wealth of counselors. We’ll unearth more riches from Proverbs tomorrow. Make sure you join us. Well, I feel like I don’t have to make the case that we live in dark days. Good is called evil and vice versa. We’re in a political season marked by anger and division and despair. So, what are believers to do? Where do we get the energy and perseverance to love? Well, Steve spoke about this in a message called We Will Be Restored. Take a listen to part of that sermon, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
I don’t know if you read, but the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, greatest show on earth is closing. That’s sad. When I was growing up every year, we went to the circus. And I, and everybody else I knew dreamed of running away with the circus. Years later, I became a pastor and it’s the same thing. And years later, because I had some friends that I loved a lot. She was a trapeze artist in a traveling circus and he managed all of the animals in the circus. She was a Christian and he wasn’t. And I talked to him a long time as they traveled all over the country telling him about Jesus and God’s grace and finally he like a child came running. And that meant that they were going to get married and they asked if I would perform the ceremony when the circus got close to where my church was. And oh man, what an opportunity. I said, of course. The next day I got a call from a member of the band, a guy who wanted to know the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses so his would match. And I thought, this is going to be different. And I remember standing in the center, and they had a perceptional and a recessional on an elephant. Those are big mothers. And when you’re standing in the center ring of a circus and an elephant’s coming at you, you’re praying, Lord, I didn’t sign on for this. This isn’t what I meant. But they were married and they were happy. I learned a lot that day. And one of the main things I learned. It’s what happens when the lights are turned down and the music stops. You know those women who are so beautiful with the dresses that sparkle? And you know the men who are so young and handsome in the circus? When the lights are turned down and the music stops, the women aren’t beautiful, they’re just tired. And the men aren’t handsome, they’re living in despair, trying to earn enough to keep body and soul together. The greatest show on earth is not the greatest show on earth. There’s a sense in which we we’re kind of in a circus, aren’t we? The band plays, the music is loud, the women are beautiful, the guys are hot, and the promises proceed over and over again. But then somebody turns the lights down and we’re not refreshed. The promises don’t deliver. We’ve heard the crying in the night. We’ve seen the abuse and the emptiness and the despair and the sin and the darkness. It would overwhelm a Christian if it weren’t for I John, the 3rd chapter. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God.
This is a powerful and timely word and I know it will encourage you. May we send you that sermon on CD for free? If so, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for the free CD called We Will Be Restored. And by the way, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You can charge a gift on your credit card. You could include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.