Friendly Advice

Here we go again, having to listen to someone’s idea of what I need to do…OK…LET ME HAVE IT!!!!!

(clenching fists inside of crossed arms, clenched teeth hiding pain while wanting to bite their head off….)

Sound familiar? They mean well, and deep inside you know that, but it is so hard to keep listening to it sometimes.

Last night, I had a friend call me. He usually calls me every week or so to chat, usually to let me know how he is doing. About every 4-6 weeks, I know that this call will take about an hour or more because he is in his funk again. Up one day, down the next.

I am honored he calls me. I look forward to being able to let God speak to him through me to encourage him and to help talk him back from the ledge every few weeks. It confirms that God has a purpose for me to help out my friend and that I may be the only person in his life that he can truly reach out to. Hopefully he gets some life-giving words to get him through the days/nights/weeks to come.

I do not think that I am all that or that I am anything special because of this relationship I have with him. I am just a human trying to be real with my friend and to help him out in his time of need. I am not a counselor or an expert in any way. I just have a heart for people.

How do you feel when someone gives their advice? Did you honestly ask for it? Did someone just stick their nose right in and give you some?

Let’s first address the uninvited advice:

You can handle it one of two ways. 1) Repeat after me …….”BUZZ OFF” (or hopefully replace with a kind, profane-free statement that means about the same thing) or 2) Politely listen to the advice and thank them for it. If you cherish that relationship, please be sensitive to the heart of the person giving you the advice and then proceed. I would recommend going to God in your prayer time with that advice and just lift it to Him, asking Him to clarify the message and then give you peace if you need to heed that advice.

Uninvited advice may be exactly what you need to hear, but are not open to it yet. It may be totally selfish (on their part) and makes no sense at all. It may just pile on to your already overloaded emotions and the soil of your soul is not ready to accept a seed of blessing that has come your way. In giving you advice without you asking for it, they are trying to help and reaching out to you because they have an agenda. It may be a selfish agenda, but an agenda none the less. It may be a genuine agenda that is only coming from a desire to help ease the pain and provide Godly advice, but without asking for it they are running the risk of it going in your right ear and exiting head left.

I believe that most well-adjusted people will desire to give advice to you from the perspective of having your best interest in mind. If they only give advice to further their own agenda, I would qualify those people as the enemy to your well-being. If they are thinking of themselves and how their advice to you helps them out without caring how it will affect you in the short and long-term, realize that you are being manipulated and you are heading down a path to more pain and suffering.

Now, let’s address the invited advice:

Before we do that, let me warn you: If you ask for it, be ready to feel every kind of emotion. You will feel enraged, pissed, sad, agreeable, confused, happy, amazed, dumbfounded, etc… If you are not ready to address your situation head on, you need to back up a step and just gather yourself. Advice will only do good if you are ready to hear it. Without open ears and an open heart, you might as well grab a magic 8 ball, shake, read, and repeat until you are ready. Take stock of your situation and accept it. Have the strength to face it head on. If you are not there, take some time right now to ask God to help you get prepared to accept the advice you need.

So now you feel like you are ready. I applaud you. Some people live a life of never accepting where they are and end up carrying the baggage of their pain the rest of their life.

Thank you for having the courage to ask for the advice and the help you need.

Your adviser can be a professional counselor, pastor, or friend. Whoever it is, just be able to let them know everything about your situation. How can you expect honest advice without being honest with your adviser? If they do not know your true feelings and all that you know about your situation (not just what you want them to know), how can they give you the advice you need that will actually help you?

Just be willing to lay everything out before them. Listen with an open heart, open mind, and open soul. Be real with them so they can be real with you.

Remember, if you ask for advice, just be ready to get an earful.

You may just get the answers you need, not necessarily the answers you are looking for.

But now what?

You got this great advice, What are you going to do with it?

Comment below…… and be blessed!!

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