Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
Thought: There are many multitudes seeking to influence the course of your life. Determine now what multitudes will influence you in what ways! The statement that there are a multitude of influences on teenagers today would be a huge understatement. There are at any time thousands of influences bombarding teenagers no matter where they go. Music is played over every speaker, advertisements are shown on every surface, and people are seeking at every opportunity to gain some sort of influence over the life of teenagers and Christians. The American Academy of
Pediatrics estimates that young people view more than 40,000 ads on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the internet, magazines, and even in schools. I, for one, didn’t even know teenagers watched television ads anymore! You cannot escape the multitude of influences vying for your attention. It is impossible to silent the noise or avoid the vision of these influencers. That means a different approach must be taken. A responsive approach to the multitudes of influence is to decide before leaving the house not if you will be influenced but how. How do you allow advertising to influence you? Is an ad in your favorite magazine compelling to you in any way? How do the people you watch on the internet affect the way you talk or the way you dress? Who in your life makes a difference in your decisions (no matter how small)? We have
to pre-decide how we will be influenced so that we can be responsive instead of reactive.
I. The Multitude of Counselors
Proverbs 14:11 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
Every young person needs to make a list of personal “influencers.” People and adults who a teenager will allow to help them make decisions. This list should at least include your parents and your pastor. My list, as a 31 year old pastor, includes my dad, my pastor, a pastor friend 10 years ahead of me, and a pastor friend my age that I graduated alongside. These are the people I trust when the decisions become more complex and difficult. They will tell me the hard things and will not hold back for my feelings sake. Pick out these people wisely and choose them not based on how happy they make you, but choose them on how successful they have already been in giving good advice to you and other people. Choose a multitude of counselors for your safety.
II. The Multitude of Compassion
Matthew 9:36 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
Outside of counselors a decision must be made how viewing the greater multitude of people around us will affect us. As Jesus looked out to see all who attended his lecture in the desert, he decided to look upon them not with envy, not with admiration, not with contempt, but with compassion. The word “compassion” here means a yearning or sympathy. Biblically it is always followed by an action. When Christ saw the multitude with compassion, he fed them. When Christ met the blind and had compassion, he healed them. The teen years is when a heart and desire to see people saved will be best cultivated. Do you see a multitude that annoys you? Or do you see a multitude that is going to hell by and large and are in need of a savior? Choose to have compassion on the multitude around you in order to develop a Christ-like heart.
III. What The Multitude Covers
Mark 5:31 “And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”
As the multitudes throng, it is important to find center. The old saying was, “take time to stop and smell the roses.” Do not allow yourself to be lost in the multitude of people, music, television, games, books, or anything else that is seeking for your attention. Remember that the most important relationship in your life is first of all your relationship with Christ. Decide to do as Jesus did at times where he left the multitude behind to go up into a mountain to pray. Choose to move past the multitudes to regularly touch the hem of Christ’s garment, and gain his attention, so that you can live an empowered Christian life.
Jesse McCammon | Pastor
Flora Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL