Don’t Burn The Bridge You’re Standing On!

But, Rehoboam refused the old men’s counsel and called in the young men with whom he had grown up.” 1 Kings 12:8 (TLB)

Don’t burn the bridge you’re standing on is, of course, a metaphor. It means don’t sabotage your support system. Of course, that’s sometimes easier said than done.

You might be struggling with an enormous problem or having difficulty over the day-to-day problems we all encounter. We all stumble many times throughout our lives with the routine problems. Don’t let making a bad decision “weigh you down” with guilt or a sense of hopelessness.

Seek to develop a good support system that you can rely on to give you advice in the areas that you’re having trouble with. Problems are best solved in the beginning, but that’s often when we ourselves don’t understand the full problem. That’s why we need someone(s) in our lives that can think outside our problem and see into solutions that will work for us.

Choose wisely the people that you can trust to confide in. Developing a strong support system of mentors, counselors, a supportive family, and good friends is essential to keeping yourself mentally strong. I would add having a personal relationship with Jesus is equally important. Even many self-help groups include having a relationship with a “higher power” as part of their plan.   

By now you know one or two people that you could confide in. But, don’t be like young King Rehoboam who only listened to his youthful pals. None had any good answers to help him in his newly acquired role of ruler of a large kingdom. If you only listen to people, your own age and/or near your own circumstance that you’re only going to get agreement of your type of thinking.

King Rehoboam had wealth and power, but because of bad advice lost most of it soon after he became king. Here is a brief look as to how this young ruler “burned the bridge” he was standing on.

King Solomon’s son Rehoboam had become King of Israel when he was yet an “untested” young man. When he became king he only wanted “yes men” to give him advice on how to rule his kingdom. So, he chose his pals from his youth. None of which gave him good advice.

 Rehoboam ignored the wise counsel the older men who had given his father good advice. The result was that the young king lost most of his kingdom in an uprising, he was not expecting nor had prepared for. He ended up ruling about a quarter of the kingdom that his grandfather King David had established. The larger story of Rehoboam is found in 1 Kings 12: 1-24.

 Seek someone you trust that will take time to listen with intentness of your problem(s). Then, be accountable to that person that you’re at least thinking things through and considering their advice.

Others on our support team can often be our family members. But sometimes it’s family that inadvertently help in creating the negative situation that you or I have found ourselves in.

  The next layer of support team members could be close friends. But they can become co-participates engaging in the same negative behavior that we’re trying to break free of.

If you’re married, or cohabiting, let your partner know that something in the routine of things is not working out for your good. You might want to go for coffee out somewhere to do this. I would suggest a marriage counselor office, though.

If you have children in your home, then let your loved ones know you’re in a mental health struggle of depression, anxiety, etc. and something has got to change. Call for a family meeting. And be as frank as is appropriate for your child(ren) in discussing what needs to change in their attitudes, their chores and/or their friends.

 If you’re a student, then seek a school counselor or school social worker. At work let your supervisor know that you’re struggling with a private matter, but you’re working on it.

A young mother and wife I knew through church took her own life a year or so back. Of course, we were all shocked and saddened by her wrongful decision. No one in her inner circle realized how deep she had sunk into her problems.

To meet and chat with her, you wouldn’t have thought there was any significant problem in her life. She was feeling good about some weight she had lost. We were both Facebook friends. I taught her children in Children’s Church. We crossed path’s often. I never had one thought that she was struggling with an inner demon of some type. Had I known I would’ve encouraged her to seek therapy.

I don’t know exactly what she was struggling with. But I do know from first-hand experience that when all you can think about is the problem then the problem eclipses the solution in your own thinking. Please go get help when you are thinking of your problems in a negative state of mind.  Seek advice, and/or counseling. Above all spend time in prayer.

“So, encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.Always keep on praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 17 (TLB)

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