Thanks For The Great Advice

21 05 2010

I have received some valuable advice over my life-time.  It started with, “Look both ways before you cross the street,” and, more recently, “pick your battles.”

I have been given advice about

  • health
  • parenting
  • marketing
  • blogs
  • cooking
  • working with children
  • leading volunteers
  • what to say
  • what not to say
  • friendships
  • marriage
  • house renovations
  • connecting with God
  • computer problems
  • financial stewardship
  • shedding dogs
  • educational alternatives
  • communication

The list could go on and on — I have been given advice about giving advice.

I know advice can be annoying at times (if it is forcefully given or given too often) but for the most part, I welcome advice. Advice has saved me; I was going to add on to that sentence, “advice has saved me a lot of trouble,” but I think letting it stand as is says it better: advice has saved me.

Sometimes advice comes to me straight on, like a spoonful of medicine; other times it comes indirectly, through another person’s story.  If I am really listening, advice comes to me when I need it most.  I am thinking of a time when I was really in knots about some parenting issues, and just when I needed it most, several significant conversations came my way; out of each a valuable nugget of instruction was given to me.

Just yesterday I stumbled across an article WordPress.com on some “life-decision” issues we are walking through with Alecia. The article that led to another article had a few really valuable ideas and suggestions that I hadn’t given enough consideration. It’s amazing how much advice you can get through Google; takes some weeding, but there are instructions on the internet that will save you hours of trouble.

All that to say, I couldn’t agree more with the advice of Proverbs 4:13: “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”

Some people reject instruction; I have done that myself (dumb). Pride gets in the way; stubbornness, fear, or just plain rebellion has kept me from embracing good advice and I always pay for it in the end. When we are young, we think we know everything; when we are old, we think we know everything. But people who live a good long, green life know how to keep their eyes, ears, minds and hearts open.

The only advice that has never really worked out for me is advice about plants. I just can’t keep anything alive. But that is a topic for another blog.

— Teresa Klassen

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