April 16, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. - Proverbs 12:5.
In Jacksonville, Florida, a fire truck was sent to take an elderly man to the hospital. The man was accidentally struck and killed by the truck that was sent to help. In Ft. Worth, Texas, a man involved in a bar fight was accidentally struck and killed when a sheriff’s vehicle responded to the call for help from the bar. In Middleburg, Virginia, a woman fell from her horse after receiving a bee sting. She was accidentally struck and killed when a friend frantically drove to give aid. Horrible! Yes, and it was the result of having a desire to help.
Of course, as Christians we want to help when others are hurting, but we have to be careful what we say and do. Our thoughts, our desires to help others are more often correct than not. However, our actions, our counsels may not always be the best. Before we rush in to help, we want to make sure that we will not make a bad situation worse. The thoughts of the righteous are right, but are our counsels any better than those of the world? If we use the viewpoint of the world in our counseling, we have not helped, but made things worse.
When we are giving counsel, we want to avoid ever advising someone to lie, or give false witness; even when it appears to be the easy way out, and when the truth may hurt. When we are giving counsel, we want to encourage the right things such as love, kindness, gentleness, going the extra mile, and turning the other cheek. We should never speak of getting even, or of having revenge. Not only should our thoughts be of that which is right, but let our counsels be so as well.
The next time the phone rings and someone is in trouble, remember the importance of your words and actions, as you seek to render aid and comfort in the Name of our Lord.