Funny how loosely we use the terms “just follow your dream” and “do what’s in your heart”. That is often advice given by public speakers to sound wise, confident or inspiring. It’s the working verbal loop of “success sellers.”
From people talking to individuals wanting to make them feel good it is advice often given from simply not knowing specifically what else to say.
Those pieces of advice can be the worst possible statements to make to somebody who is about to ruin their life with what they are wanting to do. People in those situations are often seeking someone who will tell them what they want to hear. They often reject clear, experienced answers waiting to find the one that sounds like “go for it”.
There’s something important to consider before we try to look ultra spiritual, wise or inspiring with advice that is not specific.
We better be sure that the advice we give will not help ruin the person we give it to.
Then there’s simply ……..
When we go to somebody asking how to do something, or whether to do something we’re generally looking for specific advice. We generally don’t need a half hour sermon followed by 30 seconds of what we were asking for. If we asked them the question, we already think they’re spiritual enough to give us an answer that is both wise and expert in its content. We don’t need the sermon to reinforce our perception of them.
What we need in that half hour is specific expertise (sometimes followed by 30 seconds of spiritual encouragement).
In churches, among believers, when asked for advice we’re not sure about, we would do well to start using the phrase “I don’t know”. We can then really help by referring the person asking us for advice to somebody who knows what they’re talking about.
Otherwise, we’re just talking because we like hearing ourselves sound like we know something we don’t have a clue about.
Need help with something that requires an expert answer? Apply the following to avoid being caught in an “answer snare.”
Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge. That proverb indicates that the responsibility for ending this connection lies with the listener. To delay is to lose the ability to discern what is right.
How do you know when to leave somebody who is offering advice? If they talk for more than ten minutes without saying anything about what you asked or came to find out about, that’s your cue.