Tap into the wisdom and experience of the elders

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I often  get the opportunity to sit under the counsel of the elders of our faith and extract snippets of wisdom.

Sermon of the week with Pastor Erasmus Makarimayi

The tutelage of the elders (this includes both men and women) of our society who have made it in life is a fountain of life.

In our times, we feel that we have too much to accomplish and we end up cutting corners and doing wrong things or the right things the wrong way.

We so often scuttle the plans of God and mess up His agenda and waste precious time and resources doing corrections. There are so many examples that we can exploit for our benefit by tapping into the wisdom and experience of the elders.

The Bible records the division of the united kingdom of Israel having been caused by King Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son.

He refused to listen to the wise counsel of the elders who had advised his father King Solomon in the governance of the kingdom and God split it and gave the ten tribes to someone else. He was left with two.

The tribes are what you would call provinces. 1 Kings 12:13 reads: “And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him.”

From that moment the kingdom broke into north and south, that is, Israel and Judah respectively.

No matter how archaic the elders may be, you can pluck a leaf or two of useful information. They may not be on LinkedIn or WhatsApp Messenger, but am sure they know something you need.

Many people have wasted a lot of time enrolling for wrong courses and pursuing wrong careers. The carpenter’s rule is “measure twice, cut once”.

Enough research will help avoid costly blunders. Some feel that they are being delayed and marry without knowledge of the institution of marriage and their partners. Divorce is now ubiquitous.

Any advice should not be taken blindly but carefully considered and weighed against biblical standard.

Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. We live in a world full of how to do things and how not.

It is costly to ignore the examples you see around. While discretion is needed but pay heed to those that have seen more things than you.

Don’t be limited by their limits and standards, but don’t despise them. If it means learning and capitalising on their mistakes, do so with humility and honour.

The elders tell us not to remove old fences before we understand why they were erected there in the first place. Some of the things you think are wrong maybe right.

Don’t be quick to ridicule certain practices at work or ministry before you understand the reasons behind.

You will do good to replace them after thorough research and in-depth knowledge. Your burning drive, zeal and enthusiasm need to be directed and channelled the right way. The good intentions and the grandiose vision you have should not be spilled to waste.

While you surf the advice you get you need to be aware that there are distances that you personally have to cover and you can’t send a proxy.

Many have started on promising journeys and never arrived because they thought that departure is as good as arrival. There are stages in between that need your full participation.

The costs, pain and the adventure are for you to experience. Enjoy and endure the ups and downs.

After you cross over the high mountains, the deep valleys and boisterous storms you will be refreshed and next time you face them you will embark with hope and excitement.

Because of the experience, you may end up looking for adversity and trouble in order to conquer and manifest the great God in you. I know people that don’t engage in small battles, but specialise in the complicated issues.

Advice on its own is not enough without concomitant commitment to do the right thing. I share in the spirit embodied in the Alcoholics Anonymous prayer, “Lord, give me the courage to change the things which can and ought to be changed, the serenity to accept the things which cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

I have seen this on people’s manifestos and philosophies.

People hang this on their walls and never do anything about it.
Whatever philosophy you aspire to, always combine it with James 1:23-24. It reads: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was”.

Get the advice of grey hair, you are going somewhere.