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What is your opinion regarding advice? Do you offer help? Do you like receiving advice? Most of us are somewhere in the middle. At times receiving advice seems to be plentiful. Everyone has an idea of what you should do or not do, as well as how you should spend your money, raise your children, and what kind of car you should drive.

Since there is much advice ready for the taking how do you know what advice you should receive and act upon and which to ignore?

Some guidelines for receiving advice

• Is the person offering advice someone you have confidence in and trust?
• Is the advice grounded in reality?
• Does the advice seem contrary to the Word of God? If so ignore it immediately!
• Even if it looks complicated, do you see the value and benefit of the advice?
• Do you believe this is an area where you need to make some changes?

You do not have to be a close friend to the one offering advice, yet having a relationship helps you gauge the quality of advice. The higher the confidence level with the person, the more you value the advice. Reality is a cruel but truthful mentor. No matter how much I may wish to be a horse jockey, the fact is that my skeletal system weighs more than a horse jockey. So, reality would tell me to set a goal that is more realistic.

As a Christian, the Bible is the last word on all that I do. If the advice being offered by anyone is contrary to the Word of God it must be ignored!

Some of the change that needs to happen in your life will be difficult. Changing habits is hard work. Just because it is hard does not mean it is not good advice. It may at this moment be the most important thing you need to do this year.

Some guidelines for giving advice

• Is my heart in the right place?
• Have I taken my advice?
• What right do I have to give this advice?
• How did following this advice change my life?

When I am the person giving advice I need to check my heart. Why am I giving this advice? Is my intent to help the person? To be an expert on a piece of advice means I have followed my directive and have seen the promised results in my life. Am I the right person to give this advice? Would the person who receives the advice consider me a friend, someone who wants to see them succeed? When providing information, I must immediately tell how following this advice changed my life or circumstances. There are a lot of people who love to give advice and set people straight, but their lives are a mess! Make sure you have tried and implemented the suggestions into your situation and be ready to share the results. It will make it much more believable to have a testimonial from the person giving the advice.

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