Let’s face it, advice is, sometimes, a hard pill to swallow. In this devotion we’ll see how learning to listen to advice (even if it’s unwanted or downright bad advice) can ultimately benefit us in the long-run.
First, lets’ take a look at what most often stands in our way of listening to advice. Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” According this verse, what most often stands in our way of listening to advice is our own pride. When we boil it down the reason we don’t listen to other people, whoever they may be, is because we think we know better than they do.
Honestly, there may be times when we truly do know more than the person advising us. In this case pride can manifest itself in a different way – we speak condescendingly to the person in order to make it clear that we are the more superior in intellect. If we do this, we may show our intellect to be superior, but we show our character to be lacking. What do we do in those times when people give us advice we already know or even give us bad advice? Listen anyway. If someone tells you something you already know it only confirms that you are in the right and the two of you can be happily in agreement – it’s a great way to build relationships. If someone gives you bad advice, you’ve still learned something – what not to do! By the way, if you want to avoid getting bad advice, ask more than one person about the matter at hand and then compare and contrast all that you’ve heard. Proverbs also teaches us that, “…in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14). This doesn’t mean that everyone is going to agree or tell you the same thing, instead this is a way of looking at matter from a variety of angles so that you can come to a well-educated conclusion.
Therefore, listen to all advice given to you; the good, the bad, and the un-solicited. Listening to advice doesn’t mean you have to heed it; it simply means that you have taken into consideration what someone has told you. In so doing you benefit by gaining another perspective, the other person is honored because you respectfully heard them out, your relationship with each other is consequently strengthened, and God is honored by it all.
So how do you respond when someone gives you advice? Do you cringe, roll your eyes, or just tune them out? Or do you listen carefully and weigh what is being told you? The latter is sometimes harder at first, but in time we can learn the joy of hearing someone else’s opinion and learning from it. For a wise person learns on every occasion. So, the next time your parents, boss, in-laws, friends, etc. try to offer you advice, listen to them, learn what you can from what is said, and add it to your bank of wisdom, because those who listen to nothing, eventually go bankrupt.