Sat | Sep 23, 2023
When trouble comes with crisis – Part 2

The wrong majority

Published:Sunday | May 21, 2023 | 1:35 AMRev Dwight Fletcher -

ONE MAJOR reason that leads people to make bad decisions is following the crowd. In Acts 27 when Paul advised them not to sail it says, “Since the harbour was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on…”. The fact is that the majority is often wrong. When Moses started to lead the Israelites, for example, the majority wanted to go back to Egypt, but they were wrong. We can get ourselves into a real mess by following the prevailing opinion and the most popular ideas. Not only can we make wrong decisions, but we can also make wrong moves.

When God says wait, we wait. When He says no, then that means NO. It’s for our own good. The key to good self-leadership in crisis is making the right decisions at the right time. With the heightened tension of a crisis and the need to do something, we can often make the wrong decisions and the wrong moves. When we are in a crisis, we typically do the same things as the sailors in Acts 27. Their reactions are typical for people under pressure. They made wrong moves, essentially, what not to do in a crisis.

Acts 27:15 says, “The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” Don’t give up the fight. We say, ‘what’s the use, let’s just go with the flow.’ Especially if we feel like ‘if it’s not one thing it’s another’. We get pushed around and forget where we were headed in the first place. We let go of our goals, forget our values and are driven by the crisis; we drift.

When storms/crises come, we tend to lose traction and get distracted. We must remember that in every crisis there is opportunity, and we must engage these opportunities and purposefully use the time to gain something new. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to stay home, and some families had never been that close, but it presented the opportunity to rebuild bridges that had been burnt. Some of us used the opportunity to improve our education. The key principle is ‘do not drift’.

The sailors didn’t have compasses in those days and the stars that they used to guide them were completely obscured by the storm, so the sailors were really in total darkness. They were being driven by the storm and they didn’t know where they were headed. When we’re in a dark situation where we can’t see our way and don’t have a compass, we have a God who says that He will be with us in our darkest hour. Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV) says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?... If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me’ … 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you…”.

Our God can see around corners, through darkness, and into the future. Better to be in the darkness with God than in the light without Him. Often when we get into a crisis of life, we are tempted to throw out the very things that are important to us and the values that we’ve hung onto, and we go back to behaviours we had let go of. Don’t discard your values and throw everything out because of the pressure; don’t get rid of it all. Hold on in the storm, don’t give up on your values and dreams. Ask God to keep you on course and to take you through.