“Follow the crowd” – Good or bad advice?


If I had been there alone, I would not have stepped into the Red Sea, with or without the waters parting around me (not even to take a selfie). (Exodus 14:21-22)

Would you have approached the walls of Jericho alone, blowing a trumpet along the way? Probably not! (Joshua 6:3-5)

But what about together? 

At Do Not Depart this month we’re looking at faith-filled individuals mentioned in Hebrews 11.

But look who also made it into the infamous Hall of Faith:

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
Hebrews 11:29-30 (NIV)

It’s the people. . . .

Read the rest here

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When have you been braver or done more good with other people than if you’d been alone?

Please join in the conversation today at Do Not Depart.


18 thoughts on ““Follow the crowd” – Good or bad advice?

  1. Michelle

    When have I been braver?
    I must admit, it’s when asking others if they know Jesus as Lord.
    I get fearful I won’t be able to answer any questions they have.
    In hopes that the person I’m with will know the answers.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate your honesty, Michelle. When I’m unsure of answers (on ANY topic), I definitely find more courage in a group too. I’m glad God lets us have others for that extra help.

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I’ve almost always acted alone, because that’s the way I was trained – to operate without support or backup, and sometimes without a clearly defined exit strategy.

    But it’s not bravery. I do not consider myself brave.

    It’s necessity. Things simply have had to be done, and it was my duty to accomplish them. To have shirked the task would have been a breach of promise, a dereliction of duty, or simply the worst possible choice.

    With the Red Sea dudes, it’s a good idea to think on this – what were their choices? They were metaphorically – and almost literally – between the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’. Staying would have meant slavery at best, slaughter at worst. The Red Sea was the best option.

    Fast-forward a couple of thousand years to Omaha Beach, on June 6, 1944. A large proportion of the American troops who survived crossing the open beach were huddled against the low bluffs, trying to stay out of direct fire but still subject to presighted indirect fire.

    The move off the beach, and through the German defenses, was instigated by individuals who realized that stasis meant death, while movement offered at least the chance of life.

    It took courage, yes, to leave an illusion of safety, but even more it took just that realization that the safety was illusory.

    And that someone had to take the first step.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right that we definitely have to be able to do things alone too. Not denying that. For some of us, that’s even our first response–do it alone. Sometimes it takes more effort for me to work with the group than to do it by myself, honestly.

      But there are other times when I know I wouldn’t do it at all if I had to do it alone. Even relatively easy things, sadly enough. And I’m assuming even with the times you had to act alone, you started out in a group to receive the proper training to later act on your own.

      But in the end, yes, even in a group, someone still has to take the first step. I’m guessing you would often be that one, Andrew. I’m thankful for people like you.

      And thankful that in Christ we’re never fully alone anyway. That’s a great comfort to me.

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          I’m guessing a bad day, Andrew? 🙁 I was telling my husband about you just today. Praying for you as you go through this trial and also for your wife….

          1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

            Well…this morning I passed out from pain and shock, and when I came to I had no idea where I was. Had to reconstruct, mentally, my surroundings and place them in a plausible ‘property’ context, trying to figure out where, exactly, I was living – in which state, I mean!

            Still, being able to document ‘living through pain without meds’ is something of a privilege. There are so many people who are worse off – and there are those whose agony was intentionally caused by evildoers, or (maybe worse) through casual neglect by their ‘betters’.

            Compassion does grow from ‘shared’ experience, and I would not trade the gentleness of heart that I hope I’ve attained.

            I do appreciate the prayers. The uplift is palpable, and I think God is smiling.

          2. LisaNotes Post author

            I don’t know how you maintain your positive attitude. You’re an inspiration. I will continue to pray for you. I hope that today has been an easier day….

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That cartoon caught my eye a couples weeks ago so I saved it. 🙂 Selfies are definitely a part of our modern life now. Maybe Moses and crew just drew pictures on rocks. ha.

  3. Cheryl Smith

    Wow, Lisa! I can’t tell you how much I needed this today! I loved your story about the little lost boy who found “his people”, too. 🙂 We are at a crossroads and are earnestly seeking God’s will. How I praise Him for those He has placed in our lives to pray for us and for us to turn to for advice and wisdom! I think often of the Scripture that says, “in a multitude of counselors, there is safety.” When the advice of several trusted Godly counselors correlates and agrees, it is a wonderful way to find and/or confirm God’s will for our lives. I loved this post and am so thankful you visited my blog today, so I could read this. God knew I needed it!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad this was helpful to you, Cheryl. I love how God does that–he often directs me to just what I need to read, just when I need to read it. I guess that’s another example of how he feeds so many with one blog post or web article or book page. 🙂 So thankful he works through words still today.

      Praying for you to get the guidance you’re seeking to head the best direction at your crossroads!

  4. Jennifer Dougan

    Hi Lisa,

    What a humorous cartoon about if they had had cell phones then. I grinned at the “selfie.”

    Braver with others? I think my husband is like that to me sometimes. I appreciate how our times of courage can sometimes alternate with each other, compensating for each other when needed. I feel his courage and trust to move forward, or to stand strong, in those times when I may not have known what to do on my own.

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Having a live-in source of strength is such a blessing. And especially when it goes both ways. I’m definitely braver when I’m with my husband; I don’t know that he’s ever braver with me though. ha. But maybe there’s some other trait that he is stronger in when I am with him. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

  5. IBetty Draper

    I love the team concept. Each team usually has a strong leader and if that leader if leading wrong then all go wrong but watch out for the team with a good leader…God can do wonders through them. Good post Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right, Betty–a strong leader can take a crowd either way. That’s why the “follow the crowd” advice can’t be given without caveats. But with thoughtful consideration, it is nice to find that team support!

  6. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! That image is just priceless. Thank goodness there weren’t any cellphones back then!
    I think my singing in a group for church services was a time I was braver in a group. I tried leading song once, but I was very self-conscious. Back to a group!

    Not everyone is ‘programmed’ to be serving alone. Groups are just fine too 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I stay with the group when I sing too, Ceil. You were brave to lead! I’m a better follower when it comes to singing. 🙂 I’m very thankful for groups because some things I probably wouldn’t do at all if I had to do them alone.

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