Friday, October 9, 2009
How to Give Advice
The wife was busy frying eggs, when her husband came home. He walked into the kitchen and immediately started yelling. "CAREFUL!!! CAREFUL! MORE OIL! TURN THEM! TURN THEM NOW! WE NEED MORE OIL! THEY ARE GOING TO STICK! CAREFUL! CAREFUL! TURN THEM! TURN THEM!!! HURRY UP! ARE YOU CRAZY! THE OIL IS GOING TO SPILL! USE MORE SALT! THE SALT!!"
The wife was very upset, "What is wrong with you? Why are you yelling like this? Do you think I don't know how to fry an egg?"
The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted you to know what it's like for me when I am driving the car and you're sitting next to me."
Without making specific judgments about wives giving advice to their husbands while driving (or about husbands giving advice to their wives while cooking!), let me simply say that we all need to be conscious of how we give advice to others. The author of the book of Proverbs has much to say on the subject. In fact, the words “tongue”, “mouth”, “lips” and “words” are mentioned in Proverbs almost 150 times!
Consider these thoughts:
Know all the facts before you give advice – “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” (Prov. 18:13)
Give advice in a calm manner – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)
Be careful about giving unsolicited advice – “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Prov. 10:19)
But when advice is needed, be prepared to give godly advice – “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” (Prov. 15:28)
Above all, give advice out of a sincere love for your friend – “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:5-6)
When you give advice, may it be "a word fitly spoken" (Prov. 25:11) because "a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" (Prov. 15:23)