CMDA's The Point

Unless You Tell Them

December 30, 2021
Photo: Pixabay

by Nicole D. Hayes

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14, ESV).

“It is between them and the Lord.”

Imagine you are talking with a dear friend about a situation. The situation involves a mutual friend who is unexpectedly pregnant and is considering aborting her unborn child. As fallible creatures, we all have blind spots. Human-created circumstances and choices brought about her unexpected pregnancy. Now, those circumstances and choices have presented an outcome that warrants a necessary pause to seek and receive godly counsel, prayer, planning and support.

In discussing the matter with your friend about your mutual friend considering an abortion, your friend’s response to the situation is that exact sentence written above, “It is between them and the Lord.” I have heard this said in context to someone concerned about an immoral or poor choice that someone was about to make. You have likely heard it said as well (you may have even said it yourself). This statement tends to cause both parties to cease and desist from going any further on the issue. It presents the ultimate stopping point, signaling that neither party has the right to judge what another person should do. They are free to make their own choices and, thereby, accept the consequences that derive from their decision. After all, their decision is between “them and the Lord” and whatever comes from that decision will be conceivably dealt with in that autonomous framework.

However, autonomy is limited. Autonomy is not lived out in a vacuum. Our actions and choices rarely just affect us. Others will be affected, impacted or involved in some way. Though it is in reference to a government, a nation or citizenry in need and wanting of good counsel or else fall into destruction, the Scripture above from Proverbs 11:14 can apply to individual situations or to wider groups of people, governments and legislative bodies—those who serve as “decision makers.” Wise counsel can serve as guardrails, keeping us out of ditches brought about by faulty decision making. The Benson Commentary on Proverbs 11:14 reads, “Where prudent counsellors are wanting a nation goes to wreck, as certainly as a ship doth without a pilot; but a country is safe when there are many wise men to govern affairs; that if one fail, there may enough still remain; or what one or two see not, others may be able to discern.”

From this statement, which captures the matter well, I particularly like the phrase “what one or two see not, others may be able to discern.” We all have blind spots. Seeking and receiving counsel from trusted advisors who see and are willing to say what you do not see, even if the truth is not easy to receive, is a gift.

Where there is no direction, people fall.  As followers of Christ Jesus, we pray to avail ourselves to those “divine appointments” where we have an opportunity to speak godly, wise counsel into someone’s life. We delight in sharing the “Good News.” We do so with love, boldness and truth, not shrinking back. If we shrink back, we further position this person to be captive to the enemy’s schemes with promise of convenience, expediency or a quick reward. We desire for those struggling in their decision making to experience Christ who offers life and life more abundantly, rather being handed over to our enemy who only comes “…to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10, ESV).

In tough situations, I have benefitted in receiving godly, wise counsel, as I am sure you have as well. As the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on Proverbs 11:14 reads, “We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others.” I fully agree and am witness to this. I am grateful to have had opportunities to share godly counsel (sometimes hard truth in love) with others in tough situations. Recently, a dear sister in Christ who I have been blessed to counsel told me, “I can’t imagine you ever switching up or being different than who you are.” Praise God.

In the space that is public policy, the Christian voice matters. As Christians, we can have a godly influence in shaping decisions made in our country’s legislative processes. In serving as CMDA’s Director of State Public Policy, I am pleased to collaborate with our CMDA members as Christians in healthcare who impart sound and expert medical and scientific guidance to truly promote human flourishing on certain bills introduced in state legislatures throughout the country. I am grateful to serve with those who recognize that “unless we tell them, they won’t know.” Many bills lack elements to properly advance human flourishing. The “freedoms” included in some bills will far outstrip any human flourishing, leaving communities and its citizens harmed by the consequences.

Most recently, the Food Drug Administration (FDA) decided to permanently lift restrictions to allow abortion pills to be sent to women by mail. For nearly 20 years the FDA has required manufacturers and doctors to follow Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to approve use of these pills, recognizing their harmful effects. The REMS are now favoring a “DIY abortion” telemedicine approach instead of requiring in-person visits with a physician prior to an abortion, which puts women’s health and lives more in danger.

A coalition of national groups has collaborated to offer model state legislation to codify current FDA REMS with a special focus on preventing the use of mail-order abortion. This model also offers a regulatory framework to certify and track the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs in the state, including tracking medical complications like sepsis and emergency surgery. Transparency in this area is crucial in enhancing the safety of women who undergo chemical abortion.

As we enter 2022, state and federal bills are being introduced in which winsome direction is missing and truly needed. Unless we tell them, their destruction being paved with silence is sure. We cannot be comfortable with an “It is between them and the Lord” response for captives headed into a ditch whether by their own shortsightedness or the “access” and conveniences presented through various legislation.

We need not water down the truth. Deliver it in love and yet leave nothing out as the Holy Spirit leads you.

If you are interested in engaging in public policy, please email communications@cmda.org.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar Mark J Rollo on December 31, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Thank you Nicole for an inspiring article

  2. Avatar william T griffin on December 31, 2021 at 11:35 am

    This is powerful, solid advice – we all need the counsel of others at times, and we need to seek laws that reflect the holiness of our great God. So glad that His word is able to “judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.”

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