I love to give other people advice, and I love to receive advice from other people.
Often times, though, there is a gap between giving and receiving advice and actually implementing it. This inconsistency is part of the human condition, but it can be conquered with persistence.
Most of the New Testament is an instruction book. I realize that I have been talking a lot about the Bible.
Let me explain.
My thinking has radically changed about the Bible. I am learning that my life will all be for naught without Christ and the transforming power of His living word, the Bible.
But what does this have to do with giving and receiving advice?
The Old Testament laws were often hard to keep, but the New Testament instructions are possible if you’re walking in grace.
Grace is God’s DNA coursing through your veins.
Grace pushes you closer and closer to Christ, so that you begin to look more like Him.
Follow Christ, walk in grace, and be transformed by the power of God’s word.
That’s the New Testament in a nutshell.
I am telling you all of this because the best advice to follow is godly in nature.
The Bible is where you filter all advice that comes your way. It helps you find the biblical principles to back up the changes that need to be made in your life.
There are two Scriptures that best illustrate this point. The first is found in Ezekiel 33: 31-33:
“So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not do them. And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to this passage. I have been given advice, ignored it, and then saw the prophecy come to pass. Conversely, I have also heeded sound advice and reaped the benefits.
The second Scripture, Acts 17:11, is probably more familiar to you.
“[The Bereans] were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
The Bereans understood that it was ultimately their responsibility to teach themselves good doctrine. It’s always easier to spot a phony when you are educated and informed.
All of this said there are three basic questions to ask when seeking advice:
- Who is giving this advice? Are they trustworthy? Responsible? In a place to be giving out advice?
- What Scripture(s) back up this advice?
- If Questions 1 and 2 can be answered, what’s my plan of action?
If you walk away with nothing else from this post, keep this in mind:
Advice, much like exercise equipment, only works when it’s put in use.