There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

beware of always outsourcing what is in your “job-description”

newt1vt5tuesap.jpgin moments like the tragedy we’re all hearing more and more about in Blacksburg, VA, it usually becomes the province of pastors and counselors to help people, if not to “make sense” of this, keep from entering into destructive patterns of bitterness, cynicism, fury, or isolation. But, while such types have had more training in helping people “cope,” I reject the notion that those not in those roles are any less responsible for helping people grieve, process, or come to terms with what’s happened.

I reject that notion on biblical grounds, too, I think. You will find in the qualifications for elders in the church only one gifting that is not enjoined on all those who are believers–that of an aptness to teach. That is to say, all the qualities that qualify a man to oversee the governance of the local church are precisely what is called for in every one who claims Jesus as their Lord. I bid you to do your own inquiry into that assertion if you think me off base.

I say all that so as to induce you to consider several suggestions from a reputable pastor on how to help people, like those in Virginia this day, process what they’re thinking and feeling. You will notice that shepherding people is not only a matter of communicating right doctrine, but also communicating such with appropriate sense of timing. And, I dare say, one need not be ordained with official authority to speak any of these truths, in their proper time, for it to be legitimate to say such things.

Would you, then, realize that it is as much in your province as a believer to be the counselor/pastoral-type person to your fellow brother and sister in Christ; and then would you to have a sense of these truths, and a sensitivity to how and when to speak them.

Peace be upon, and flowing through, you..

pray for those in Blacksburg….

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