May 20, 2010

Objective Advice

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 20, 2010

“But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.”
2 Chronicles 10:8

Objective advice wants what’s best for you and for those whom you influence. They want God’s will for your life but sometimes it is not what you want to hear. It may not even be the easiest path to follow, but it is the right thing to do. There is only one agenda with objective advice: what is God’s best and right thing for you.

However, there will be other voices competing for your attention. You will not lack for biased advice with its own agenda. Their agenda includes what is in it for them. Biased advice favors a stronger position of power and financial gain for the advisor. It is tainted advice that needs to be avoided like sour milk. But objective advice is pure and healthy.

Biased advice may be expedient, therefore seem easier to execute. But why be expedient in the short-term, when in the long-term it is more painful. You may lose some of your best people(,) because good people want to follow leaders who are willing to make the hard decisions. “The integrity of the upright guides them” (Proverbs 11:3a).

Your business or ministry will not go to the next level without your submission to wise and objective advice. Seek out older men and women and integrate them into your circle of influence. The same can be said of your family. Your spouse is on your side. They have the purest objectives, because they have the most to gain or lose by your decisions. Be humble not harsh. Receive their advice and act upon it. Humility listens and learns.

Where do you find this quality of counsel? Seek out people who “have been there and done that”. Experience educates beyond naïve idealism. If you are planting a garden for the first time, you want to talk with someone with a “green thumb”. So go after people with experience in the areas in which you need advice. There is one caveat. Look for those who have learned from their experience. Experience without education is counterproductive.

Nevertheless, someone older and more experienced is a good place to start for objective advice. Ask them about their greatest successes and their greatest failures. As they talk, listen for humility, change and the ability to take responsibility for their actions. Solicit objective advice from those who maintain your same values and principles.

These are people who will not compromise quality for quantity. They will not be enamored with short-term gain that dilutes long-term integrity. Objective advice does not depend on unnecessary persuasion. Rather, they trust God to lead you. They will speak the truth in love and leave the results to God. Others may speak louder and more forcefully, but this does not mean their counsel is better. Ask for advice, filter it through prayer and then do what they say. Godly, objective advice originates with the Lord!

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20).

Who can I trust to give me objective advice? What area of my life might another need my (needs their) objective advice?

Related Readings: Proverbs 12:15; Isaiah 19:11; Romans 11:33-35; Acts 6:1-7

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