I like my local garage. They are reasonably-priced, friendly and flexible. However, neither they nor VW themselves could find a part needed to fix my Golf’s speedo cable. Research on eBay led me to the item in the picture. Ordered on Friday, delivered on Saturday and fitted on Monday. Result.

Solutions are not always in the hands of one specialist. We need many sources for our many challenges in the Christian life. Without doubt it is true that, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). We need to be sure we do not just have a chattering crowd around us, but people who stick with us through thick and thin.

On the other hand it is possible to focus on one person at the exclusion of all others in a way that limits our growth. As another proverb says, “for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” (Proverbs 24:6 NIV). When one person cannot help or, worse, offers advice beyond their experience we can feel let down and even bitter. But when we acknowledge that all of us are limited and find other people to help, then new air is breathed into the special relationships. It takes the pressure off.

Do you have a body of trusted advisors? Years ago I read an article that significantly influenced my thinking. The author suggested we all need a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in our lives. Someone to call us higher, someone to be our best buddy, and someone to train.  I’d say we need all three, and maybe more. You won’t find them on eBay, but they are out there!

Malcolm Cox