But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31

Moses directed the spies to bring back a report on the land, “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land” (verses 18-20).

This is the account they gave to Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there” (verses 27-28). If they had stopped there, they would have completed the task they were given but they overstepped their authority when they said, “We can’t attack those people” (verse 31). It wasn’t their place to make that decision.

In our churches, if we don’t hold a leadership position, we exercise caution when we present our opinions. God has entrusted our churches to leaders who will ask others to gather information as they discern God’s will for a particular course of action. If we attach our opinions to the information without reference to God’s overarching purposes, we overstep our responsibilities. It then becomes difficult for leaders to move forward when others are undermining their leadership by spreading bad reports (verse 32).

Let’s trust our leaders and be discerning about how we express our opinions.