Have you ever been in a group conversation that completely changed direction after someone spoke up with a contrary viewpoint?
In Acts 5:17-42, we see that the Sanhedrin was furious with Peter and the apostles after they had defied their order to stop preaching in the name of Jesus. To make matters worse, the apostles had even accused the Jewish religious leaders of killing Jesus. The Sanhedrin was ready to stone the apostles when Gamaliel, a teacher of the law honoured by all the people, stood up in the assembly. He said, “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39). Gamaliel injected a wise voice of reason into the heated discussion, which convinced the Sanhedrin not to do anything rash. His contrary viewpoint challenged the groupthink that was occurring and completely changed the direction and outcome of the discussion.
It’s so important that we listen to the “Gamaliels” on our teams who speak wisely and help to focus our discussions. Sometimes, it is the quiet team member who brings this kind of wisdom to the table. As leaders and group members, it’s important that we create and support an open and safe atmosphere where everyone can contribute their insights. When a “Gamaliel” speaks, let’s be quick to listen and heed the wise voice of reason even when it means changing our direction.