Top 5 Pieces Of Advice I Have Ever Received
What are 5 of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever received? Which ones have you received that you’d like to share with us?
The Wisdom of God
I believe some of the best advice that I ever got was to not listen to the world. Don’t read the advice columns (which I won’t name here) that you probably know about. They give advice from a worldly or secular viewpoint and we know that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God (1 Cor 3:19) so why would you ever seek advice from those who don’t know Christ? True wisdom is found only in God and in His Word alone. That might be the best advice of all; seek out godly wisdom by abiding in the Word of God on a regular and consistent basis. The more you read the Word the more you’ll know the mind of God and the more you know God’s mind, the wiser decisions you’ll make. No wonder David said that he meditated on God’s Word day and night (Psalm 119 and 77). Also, the wisdom literature of the Bible is very rich in the wisdom of God. Books like Proverbs, Job, James, and Ecclesiastes are treasure troves of wisdom that most of the world never taps and to their detriment. They would rather listen to modern phycologists and their “Psychobabble” which is a combination of psychology and psychoanalysis than they would good Christian counselors or therapists. The world has nothing to offer except empty platitudes that have no lasting effect and no real solution. At best they are band aids placed over serious wounds that will never really solve anything because they are typically issues of the heart.
Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor
I think the most valuable person in my life next to Christ is my mentor. As a pastor, I tap the invaluable wisdom of my mentor who is a retired pastor of the church where I am at now. His years of experience and wisdom are priceless and no money could possibly buy it anyway. You can’t find this in a textbook. I pick his brain quite often. When I experience problems in the church, after prayer, I turned to his sage advice. He has usually been through everything that I am going through and I love to see what he did in similar situations. Mentoring is very biblical too. Paul mentored both Timothy and Titus (read these books) and they learned so much from Paul without having to learn it the hard way. I believe that every Timothy and Titus needs a Paul but something that is equally important, every Paul needs a Timothy or Titus. What I mean is that every Christian man and woman needs a mentor but they also need to be mentoring someone else. This is what discipleship is all about. If you have a mentor, you have a rich resource of wisdom, experience, and knowledge that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. If you are mentoring someone, you are helping a younger Christian know what the essential priorities of the Christian faith are and to show them how you arrived at making decisions. I admit my mistakes to my mentor and to the one I am mentoring, our associate pastor because I believe transparency is crucial in any mentoring relationship and it’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten.
I touched on this at the end of the last paragraph about mentoring but I wanted to expand on this important subject. When I witness to people, I tell them everything about my sordid past. I hold nothing back. If I am open and honest about my past sins maybe I can give them hope for their own past. Some people never come to Christ because they believe that they have too much baggage; that is they have too much to have forgiven but our sins are never greater than our Savior. Sometimes they want to wait and clean up their lives first but that’s a big mistake because they’ll never come to saving faith in Christ until they admit that they can’t clean up their own life. I tell them, come to Christ and He’ll give them a new heart with new desires and forgive all of their sins (1 John 1:9) and then they can be seen as having the same righteousness that Christ has (2 Cor 5:21). The more honest we are about ourselves, the more we’ll give hope for others that they don’t have to be perfect to trust in Christ because they have a Perfect, Sinless Christ Who died for their imperfections. If we ever act “holier than thou” then no one will ever think that they could possibly be good enough to be saved but if we’re completely transparent about our own lives, then they’ll have hope that they too can be forgiven and receive eternal life in Christ.
Forgive and Release
If we have things that people have done to us that we cannot forgive, we’re poisoning our Christian faith and ruing our lives. There is nothing worse than unforgiveness toward others. It’s like carrying around the weight of the world and believe me, I know what that’s like. For years after I was saved, I carried around the ball and chain of unforgiveness toward a school-age friend of mine who years ago took my car without permission and totaled it. He said that he was going to pay me back and year after year of empty promises brought nothing but anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. I walked around with this for years and professed faith but never really possessed faith. Then I realized I was being a hypocrite. This man was not saved. I thought of his future outside of Christ (Rev 20:12-15). I was moved with compassion and made the choice to forgive him and then I shared the gospel with him. My unforgiving heart kept me from telling him how he might be saved so I made a choice; I choose to forgive him and it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. Having an unforgiving heart is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will die from it, when in reality, it’s only killing you.
Be Quick to Apologize
There is no better way to heal a rift between a marriage partner or a friend than to apologize. Own it! If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. This is what friends and spouses ought to do. James said we are to confess our faults to one another (James 5:16) and I think it’s obvious that this also means we should apologize when we’re in the wrong. Be quick to forgive and slow to anger. I think some of the most important words we will ever say in our life are; “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” and “I love you.” Can you think of any words that are more conducive to relationships than these? I can’t.
There is nothing better that I can tell you than to ignore the wisdom of the world and immerse yourself into the wisdom of God in the Bible; find someone to mentor you and be a mentor to someone else; be transparent because it gives others hope and God sees your heart anyway; learn to forgive and make the choice to forgive even when you don’t feel like it; and be quick to apologize and own your mistakes because that’s the lubricant to making friendships and marriages work. Those are the top five pieces of advice that I can give you that I have learned from experience these 60 + years of life and learned the hard way.
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman