He who can take advice is sometimes superior to him who can give it. Karl von Knebel
Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and the deeper it sinks into the mind. Coleridge
Advice is something we typically love to give and hate to receive. We want others to benefit from our vast life’s experience. They are bound to benefit from our experiences and from our advice. It is important that we learn to be aware of our motives for wanting to give advice. Ego and vanity are issues that often get in the way.
Generally, we do not want advice. Even if it appears that we are asking for it. It is often a rouge or ploy to make ourselves look good and humble. Most often, we are stubborn, arrogant, and conceited in accepting advice. We would rather do things the hard way. Men really are notorious for putting things together without reading instructions or trying to locate an address without asking directions. It is less than manly for males to ask for help or advice. They fear appearing weak and vulnerable. Men go overboard and to great lengths in avoiding advice or asking questions. As a result, they do too many dumb things. Women are not nearly as vain on these issues.
If a person does not want our advice we are wasting our time trying to force it on them. Unless it has been asked for, directly or indirectly, it is not wanted. We all have been in situations, where we had the opportunity to give advice to someone who really seemed to need it, but for whatever reason they did not want to hear what we had to say. Giving unwanted advice is always a big waste of time and effort. If is often hard to resist giving it.
A good piece of advice on getting or giving advice is: We should be extremely aware of our motives for not accepting it from others. We should try to beware of the other person’s motives and frame of mind as well. If we are coming from a spirit of love, there is a better chance of our advice being received. If our motives are anything different, it will be perceived and our advice will likely be rejected. Similarly, if someone is trying to give us advice in a spirit of love, we would be well advised to overcome our reluctance and to carefully listen. Ego and vanity should be removed from the giving and the getting of advice from both the giver and the hearer.
Challenge: Do you give advice and do you willingly receive advice? You can do better at both ends of this by being aware of everyone’s motives and reasons. Be very sensitive to what your true motives are. Also, be aware of what other’s motives are in offering you advice. Leave out ego and vanity. Make sure the next time you want to give advice it is because you truly care and not because you want to appear to be better or wiser than they.
Wisdom: He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other. Francis Bacon
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
God is there to advise us and show us the right way. We must ask His advice. He will not force himself on us. We can be stubborn, hard-headed and cold-hearted as we try to do things in our own strength and power. We will have only limited success. Increasingly we will find how limited we really are. God wants our success and wants us to become all He designed us to be. We should read the directions and ask questions. Life can be much better.
Prayer: Help me to be able to be quiet and to listen to You. Advise me and show me which way I should go.