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Friday, February 12, 2016

“Well, If I Were You…"

Although people may mean well, they are often guilty of giving others “unsolicited advice.” Typically, it is based on their own background, personalities and experiences.

I am sad to say that I have been guilty of doing this to others in the past.

Cases in Point:
  • I advised a timid, single mother how to aggressively confront her child’s teacher about an unrealistic homework deadline. (Note: I am single, with no children and was an aggressive, strong-willed Account Executive in sales.)
  • I advised someone about managing their health issues. (Note: I do not know their diagnosis nor had I ever been sick.)

This is even applicable regarding your spiritual journey. Each and every one of us has an individual, unique and personal relationship with God. Our prayers, dreams and levels of faith are all different.

Biblical Examples:
  • Eve fell victim to this ploy from the serpent. Although she KNEW the Lord’s command , not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent basically said: “Well, if I were you…” Eve and eventually Adam did eat, and were punished by God by being banned from the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3)
  • Noah was commanded by God to build an ark to save himself and his family. HE was going to destroy the entire world by water because it was so corrupt and evil. But He found favor with Noah. It is probably safe to assume that Noah was levied with tons of opposition from non-believers and “Well, if I were you…” advice. Noah trusted God and remained obedient. HE was true to his word, causing it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, destroying the earth.  (Genesis 6 & 7)

It’s not that we shouldn’t listen to or take advice. We should just be diligent in only adhering to “wise counsel” and God’s Word. One may want to say, “You may want to consider another perspective.”

The Bible shares:
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV):
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV):
A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
Proverbs 12:18 (NIV):
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 22:17 (NIV):
Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach,
Romans 12:2 (NKJV):
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Memorable Quotes:
 “It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what YOU are doing.”
“Stop caring what others think of you and start doing what God has called you to do.”
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Don’t let anyone who has done nothing tell you anything.”
“Don’t base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results.”
“Not everyone thinks the way you think, knows the things you know, believes the things you believe, nor acts the way you would act. Remember this and you will go a long way in dealing with people.” – Arthur Forman
“Never waste time trying to explain yourself to people committed to misunderstanding you.”
"Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions."

When people tell you “Well, if I were you…” kindly reply, “Since you are not me, I will obey God.”  Seek Wisdom…not Random Advice.

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