The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. —Ecclesiastes 12:11
Now in my sixties, I reflect back on wise spiritual leaders who had a positive impact on my life. In Bible school, God used my Old Testament professor to make the Word come alive. My Greek teacher relentlessly employed high standards to goad my study of the New Testament. And the senior pastor in my first pastoral ministry shepherded me in building vital ministries to help others grow spiritually. Each of these teachers encouraged me in different ways.
King Solomon wisely observed some ways that spiritual leaders can help us grow: “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd” (Eccl. 12:11). Some teachers prod us; others build solid spiritual structures into our lives. Still others, as caring shepherds, are there with a listening ear when we hurt.
The Good Shepherd has given leaders a variety of gifts: exhorting, developing, and shepherding. Whether we’re a leader or a learner, though, He desires that we maintain humble hearts and a love for others. What a privilege to be led and used by our Shepherd to encourage others in their walk with Him.
Give us the wisdom we need, Lord, to encourage
others in their spiritual walk. We know we need Your
Spirit’s power to do that. Use the gifts You have
given us to help others along on their journey.
May our words reflect the heart of God and His wisdom.