Tag Archives: advice

Take Care in Giving Advice

Making the Most of Conflicting Advice From Mentors

This morning I was reading Mark 5: 21-43. It’s the story about Jesus tending to the deceased daughter of a synagogue leader named Jairus and another story about a woman who is healed by touching the the garment of Jesus.

These are stories of Jesus’ miracles that I have read many times, but after this most recent reading I realized how much bad advice and instructions the disciples and others gave Jesus. Thank goodness Jesus knew what his purpose was and was fully aware of the power of God.

When Jesus was on his way to Jairus’ house some people informed him that the daughter had died and not to bother the father. Jesus didn’t listen, instead he knew that they were upset and experiencing grief, anger, and disappointment. Instead of accepting defeat and going away, he continued on and entered Jarius’ home to find everyone crying and distraught.
When it came time to heal the daughter Jesus kicked those who were laughing at him out of the home. With only his selected disciples and the parents of the young girl in the room Jesus healed her.

When Jesus had been on the way to Jairus’ house he was interrupted by a woman’s actions. We find the disciples giving Jesus bad advice when he asks in a crowded space, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples give the side eye and remind him he’s asking a ridiculous question considering all the people pressed up upon him.

The woman, realizing she had been healed by her faith after touching the hem of Jesus’ garment speaks up and he tells her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go and be in peace from your suffering.”

Had Jesus listened to those around him, neither of the miracles would have taken place. Those whose faith turned to doubt weren’t trying to hurt anyone with their words, they were being somewhat realistic. But what I think we can learn from these two incidents is that giving advice that seems realistic, but is rooted in a lack of faith is not good for others.

Before giving advice to others ask yourself:

Is what I’m going to say rooted in my own personal insecurity, doubts, and fears?
If so, remember: spread faith not fear.

Were you asked for advice?
Sometimes it’s alright to give unsolicited advice, but before doing so ask yourself if it’s the right time and the right situation for doing so. Also avoid giving advice about something you are not knowledgeable about.

Did you pray about it?
If the situation is quite serious and could have grave effects on a person’s life bring it before God in prayer. Ask God what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Giving advice is not something we do in our own strength.

Be open to the other person’s response.
Not everyone accepts advice even when they’ve asked for it. Be prepared for what you have to say being rejected or ignored. You’ve done your part and leave it at that. You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, no matter how much you care.

Acknowledge when you are wrong.
There are times when we have given bad advice. This is why we need to be careful with advice giving. If you have done so acknowledge that you were wrong, and when necessary apologize. You can’t take back what you have said and done, but you can always make amends.

Let’s not be like the disciples and the doubters who almost blocked the miracles and blessings from God with our unnecessary and unasked for advice.

God’s Will and Your Waistline

“… in general, it is God’s will that we ourselves should have a great part in determining our path through life. This does not mean that he is not with us. Far from it. God both develops and, for our good, tests our character by leaving us to decide. … God is preparing us for a life of initiative, so I know that God will be with me even when he does not tell me what to do. His presence is known in ways different from his specifying what he wants done.”  Dallas Willard, Hearing God.

I recently encountered someone who felt the need to determine God’s will regarding her health. This person was obese, had gained a considerable amount of weight in a short amount of time, needed a sleep apnea machine due to effects of her weight, and could barely walk a short distance without huffing and puffing. As I listened to this person speak, I wondered exactly what she thought God might say to her, “My dear child, remain intentionally unhealthy, it is my will for you that you not be able to breathe at night. It is my will that you eat your feelings instead of turning to me, your comforter.

When is it ever God’s will for us to self-harm? The answer is never. It hurts God to see us hurting. His love cannot stand to see his beautiful creation living with emotional pain.

I don’t believe God created us to be empty headed believers, lacking the ability to make sensible decisions. People tend to seek “God’s will” despite knowing what the sensible answer to their dilemma would be. Instead of seeking “God’s will”, I wish people would be more honest and admit that what they are actually seeking is God’s guidance and a sense of personal peace.

We are sometimes so desperate to have God approve decisions which we know are not good for us. We stall by engaging in what I refer to as spiritual procrastination. Spiritual procrastination involves engaging in honest spiritual disciplines without the right intentions. We pray knowing that we are asking for something that is against the will of God; we seek the advice of fellow Christians whom we know are not in a right relationship with God and who are likely to give us the answer we want; we start reading scripture with the hopes that after thousands of years, God’s commandments might have some how changed over night in favour of our dilemma; and we start quoting guilt scriptures such as, “thou shalt not judge”, “ye without sin cast the first stone.”

I didn’t want to be hard on the person seeking God’s will for her waistline. Sometimes we are not ready to hear or face the truth about our situations and how we got there. If I could say anything to her, I would say, it is never God’s will for us to harm ourselves. Seek God’s guidance on how to best care for one’s self. He will place people in your path to provide encouragement, guidance, and solid information. If you want to talk about God’s will for our lives, it is always God’s will that we listen to the messengers He sends us.

Questions and Reflections:

-What do you think God’s will is for yourself specifically and for all of humankind?

-When was the last time you sought “God’s Will”? What were you hoping to hear from God?





The Blessing of: “See I Told You So!”

The Blessing of: “I Told You So!”

One Word

One Word for 2014: Blessing

Isn’t it annoying sometimes when someone told you something and you decide not to listen and eventually you have to face the sting from the words, “See, I told you so!” or my mother’s favourite, “Didn’t I Tell You…!”


I used to become angry with myself when I didn’t listen to someone and whatever they warned me about was proven to be true. As I would mull over my error, it often lead to me becoming upset with the person who gave me the warning. Over the years I’ve learned to see people who give me words of warning and caution as a blessing instead of seeing their words as hurtful.

Please Note: I don’t recommend literally saying, “I told you so!” to anyone because it will likely lead to that person feeling worse and becoming bitter. However, if someone says that you, don’t become fixated on the words of defeat as it will take you away from learning a lesson and instead it will lead to you being upset with yourself without having learned from your mistake.

i told you so no

Proverbs 27:5-6 “Better is open rebuke than hidden loveWounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve kicked our self for not listening to sound advice and warnings. We feel even worse when we don’t listen to our own advice or follow our intuition. It’s easy to beat up on our self for not listening, but instead of doing that, what if we stopped, evaluated why we didn’t listen and then gave thanks to God for the people in our lives who are not afraid to “tell us so!”.

Friends who give us sound advice and warnings are good friends. It means they care enough to look out for your well-being. I’m not talking about bossy people or busy-bodies who have their noses in everybody’s business. I’m referring to those who “tell you so!” because they care. They might not even be friend or family; sometimes these people are strangers who care enough to let you know whatever it is that you need to be told.

An honest friend is a great friend to have.

So… what have I been told in the past few months that I didn’t listen to? Here’s my list:

-“It’s gross, don’t buy it

-“You’re sick, don’t go to work, stay home and rest

-“Ignore her

-“You’re going to forget if you don’t write that down

-“If you don’t say something about it, she’s going to keep doing that to you

Thankfully my list doesn’t include anything life altering, but for other’s you may not be so fortunate.

QUESTION (Self-Reflection):

  • What are the major “I Told You So” in your life? Is there something that people are often telling you, but you don’t seem to listen to?
  • How do you feel when people have proven you wrong? How do you react towards them?


  • Ask God to reveal to you any areas in your life where you have a difficult time listening and following sound advice and warnings.
  • If you have trouble with being proven wrong, ask God to soften your heart towards people who are showing you that they care. Ask God to help you discern between those who are simply being bossy or prideful verses those who are demonstrating care.

Source: r3ally