Tag Archives: Nine blind men

How the Puzzle Pieces of God’s Will Fit Together

Tuesday Re-mix:

(This is the next in a series of posts about discerning God’s will together as a church body.)

Nine blind men stand in a circle, with an elephant standing in the middle.  They are asked, “What is it that stands among you?”  The blind man who is in the front of the elephant reaches up and feels and says, “It is a large hose of some kind.”  The blind man standing behind the elephant reaches and feels and says, “No, it is more like a rope of some kind, attached to something very large.”  One of the blind men standing on one side reaches up and feels and says, “No, it is neither a hose nor a rope…it is a large wall, with hair on it.”  Which of them is right and which of them is wrong?  They are all right.  But they are all wrong. From ancient India, author unknown

If the key to building consensus in the church is to stay focused on God’s will (and not our will), then the biggest challenge becomes, well, the fact that we are talking about God’s will.  It is a challenge because we  are uncomfortable trying to reach agreement with each other about God’s will.  If I say God’s will for us is “ABC” and you say God’s will for us is “XYZ”, then we have conflict.  And in the worst of circumstances, we begin to question one another’s walk with the Lord.  So, rather than risk that kind of conflict, it is easier to just take a vote and let the majority rule.  That way, we can bypass God’s will all together and just follow the will of the people.


But as our nine blind men from ancient India teach us, “ABC” and “XYZ” are not necessarily conflicting …