Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Leaning on Our Own Understanding

by Margaret Southey

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5, NIV

A pilot, professor, pastor and back packer were up in the pilot’s small plane when the engine failed and a crash was imminent. The men needed to get out of the plane and fast, but there was a problem. There were only three parachutes. The pilot argued that he needed one parachute because it was his plane and he would need to explain why the engine failed. The professor argued that he had much knowledge in his head that he could pass on to others, so he merited a parachute. That left the pastor and back packer and the one remaining parachute. The pastor told the back packer to take the parachute as he explained that he knew Jesus as his Saviour and was confident of his future after his death. The back packer’s reply was startling, “Pastor, actually there are two parachutes. The professor jumped out with my back pack strapped to his body.”

This story is a good illustration of the above Scripture. Leaning on our own understanding, especially in a critical situation, could have as disastrous an effect as the highly intelligent professor’s understanding of what a parachute looked like.

It is part of our human nature to rely on our own understanding when faced with a problem. We try by one or other means to reason and work out a solution to it. That in itself is not wrong. After all, the Lord blessed us with brains and the ability to reason and He means us to use them. But when we rely solely on our own capabilities, without coming first before Him to seek His wisdom and guidance for the situation, we could be in danger of making a mistake, with consequences similar to those of the professor’s.


Margaret Southey is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has had a career in education. Her passion is to understand the truth of God’s Word and to share it with others. She is part of the ministry and teaching team of Ellel, Africa.


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