Aside Posted on Updated on
While there are many things in our world in short supply, one thing you will find to be in great abundance is advice. No matter what the endeavor, you will find a number of people who want to advise you on the best course of action. But let’s be honest. We all like to share with others what we have learned through our own experiences and observations. And, if we will admit it, we have all at times taken offense at someone seeking to give us unsolicited advice.
I must admit that there have been times I have gotten angry (though I tried not to show it) when people have tried to give me advice. I suppose it is just human nature. But if you will permit me, I would like to give some advice about getting advice.
The first thing we should remember is that no matter what we are experiencing or what endeavors we are involved in, there are others who have had similar experiences and been involve in similar endeavors. Listening to their advice based on their experiences and observations can be very profitable. That’s not to say that all advice is good, but it never hurts to listen.
The second thing we should consider is that most people who give us advice do so with our best interests at heart. Even when the advice is not sound it is almost always given in sincerity with a desire to help us succeed and avoid the mistakes that they have witnessed or made themselves. We should never take offense at someone who is sincerely trying to help.
Another thing we should consider is that advice is almost always free. Most people do not charge for advice so all it costs us is a little time to listen. I have been given a lot of advice throughout the years and a lot of it was not good and I did not follow it, but it didn’t cost me a thing to listen. On the other hand, some of the advice I have received throughout the years has been very profitable to me and it was free as well. Advice is one of the best bargains around!
We should also consider that it is a bit arrogant to think that we cannot benefit from the advice of others. There are two major avenues of learning as we live our lives. The first is through our own experiences and observations and the second is through communicating our experiences and observations to one another. If we depend solely on learning from our own experiences and observations and refuse to listen to the wisdom of advisers we greatly limit our opportunities to learn and be successful. Proverbs 12:15 says, The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Notice, it doesn’t say a wise man follows all advice, but that a wise man listens. Again in Proverbs 15:22 we are told, Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. One of the major keys to success is learning to listen to advisers.
So my advice about advice is to humbly listen to any advice on any subject from anyone who is willing to give it. Keep in mind that not all advice is sound and should always be filtered through common sense and especially through God’s Word. We will find that a lot of advice we receive is useless but occasionally we will receive a piece of advice that is priceless. We will only find these treasures of wisdom if we have trained ourselves to humbly listen to advice.