Pick Wisely Whose Advice You Follow
It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. For like the crackling of [burning] thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is futile. Eccl 7:5-6 (HCSB)
No one desires rebuke as encouragement, yet why are so many people drawn to older, more experienced, authoritative acquaintances for guidance? Why would we choose to listen attentively to firm, honest constructive criticism and correction, but then laugh and nod to the feel-good advice freely flowing from our circle of peers?
Maybe in truth, we all are drawn to older, wiser mentor-friends for advice, correction and encouragement, even when their words are hard to swallow. It is in our nature to seek out a select few who genuinely love us enough to tell us what we need to hear, not always what we want to hear. Successful people realize in due course that much of the chatter and hollow praise amongst our circle of friends and family is not always beneficial. In fact, most of their advice actually is self-serving banter, seeking approval for their own satisfaction. Many desire our laughter and nods as a form of acceptance and approval in their own lives. However, laughter quickly fades like “thorns that pop in the fire.” — they snap and crackle just before they disappear in the flames.
A firm handshake connects two people more securely and significantly than a pat-on-the-back or a spontaneous high-five signifying approval. We respond to a private wink, nod or slight grin from the select few who genuinely care about our desires and needs, rather than their own agenda. We all desire to invest valuable time with those who will inquire and listen to our responses about our goals, dreams and aspirations, rather than prattle on about their accomplishments or shortcomings.
When we spend time seeking God’s will, ways, and wisdom, we discover the caring voice of our stern but caring Heavenly Father, who loves us enough to say what we need to hear, not what we want to hear all the time. His words embrace us when we need to admit pour shortcomings, and they offer a safe handhold when we need to be directed and anchored through the challenges of life. His words chastise and discipline when we stray, but with a loving-kindness that seeks the best for us. The way God deals with us also is found through the presence of strong mentor-friends who we run across throughout the various stages of life’s journey.
Who are your mentor-friends? Who has God directed into your life? Or, are you only interested in listening to the always laughing and joking buddies, always blowing their own horn for the attention they desire to feel good with the world? Think about who you allow into your inner circle.
Words of Wisdom #237-21EC