I have a confession to make: there are people in my life, who I regularly receive advice from, and typically I assume the best thing to do is the opposite of whatever they said. I don’t seek people like this out. We usually don’t need to. They always know what everyone else needs to do and LOVE telling people the solution to all of their problems. You probably have people like this too. Usually, you don’t know how they even know about the problem they are “helping you” address. Sometimes the problem they are giving you advice on isn’t even something you are dealing with.
What is always hard for me is when I see “those people” giving horrible advice to a struggling single mom or a father who is at his wits end with his teenage girl. I want to just tell the person receiving advice “ignore everything you just heard”. Unfortunately can’t without ruining other relationships.
So how do you know if the advice you are receiving is worth listening to?
Look for people who have the results you want and then ask them questions.
Most people who are able to give great advice wait until you are ready to hear it. They are not prideful thinking they have it all figured out. They will be reserved in offering their option. But if you look for people who have been where you are and are now on the other side successfully they can be a huge help.
Stef and I have received the majority of our financial advice from a successful accountant, a retired businessman, and another pastor who is a few years older but successful living of a similar income.
We seek parenting advice from couples who have teenagers who are respectful or couples who have adult children who launched well and are following Christ.
We seek relationship advice from couples who have been married much longer than us and clearly still have a deep love for one another.
So next time someone says “I heard you are struggling with…” take a moment and pause before accepting what they say as gospel. Consider if they are a source worth learning from.
Do you have one of those people in your life? What’s the worst advice you ever received (Make sure not to use names)?