Orthodox Thought for the Day


Monday, November 10, 2014

On guidance

In the Book of Proverbs we read, Where there is no guidance, a people falls like leaves, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.  Prov. 11:14 

You see the force of this saying, brothers and sisters.  You see what the sacred Scripture is teaching us.  It is ensuring that we do not trust in our own strength, that we do not consider ourselves experts, that we do not imagine that we can manage our own affairs. 

In fact, we need help; we need guidance and the aid of God.  There is nothing more miserable, nothing more risky than people having no one to guide them on the road to God.  What does the Scripture say?  Where there is no guidance, a people falls like leaves. 

The leaf at its beginning is always green, fresh and delightful.  Then by degrees it dries up and falls, and after that it is disregarded and trampled on.  Anyone without a guide is like that.  At first he is always enthusiastic for fasts and vigils, for tranquility of mind and for obeying his conscience in everything.  Then by degrees that enthusiasm wanes, and because he has no director to feed and rekindle that flame, he dries up without anyone noticing, he falls down and from then on becomes prey to his enemies who do what they like with him. 

It is different, however, with those who share their thoughts with others and only act after taking the advice, In an abundance of counsellors there is safety.  It does not mean by ‘an abundance of counsellors,’ that one should consult everyone, but that one should always seek advice from those whom one trusts most, and not keep silent about some things while speaking of others. 

Woe to those who say one thing and do another!  One should bring everything out into the open and consult, as I said, about everything.  There is safety then, meaning salvation, precisely in the abundance of counsellors. 

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