Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. (Proverbs 19:20)
Theme: If not You, then Who?
Over the next two days we will turn our attention to the Discipline of Counsel. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous instances where seeking and giving good advice are encouraged. To enhance our effectiveness in advancing God’s kingdom we should practice giving and receiving good counsel. Many of us fall short in this area though because we don’t create the right environment for receiving and giving counsel. Today, we will consider the right environment for receiving counsel and tomorrow we will consider the right environment for giving good counsel.
Many years ago, I was sent on a course by the company I work for. One of the exercises on the course was about receiving advice. Each participant gave a presentation and then received feedback on their performance from the other participants. However, there was a unique twist to the exercise. Whatever the feedback or advice was (and sometimes it was harsh), the person receiving advice could only say two words. Thank you! In real life, this response will not always be practical because you may need to clarify the advice for example, but the purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate how much more willing others are to give candid advice if the environment is a receptive environment. I have used this lesson to very good effect in business over many years. When I apply the lesson, I am openly thankful for even negative feedback. Ultimately, I will benefit from an environment where others know I really want their advice, even if it is something I don’t relish hearing. To be clear, it doesn’t mean I always have to use the advice I receive, but I must graciously receive it.
The value of this lesson shouldn’t come as a surprise when we consider that the Bible clearly points us in this direction. In our passage for today, notice the first word, “Listen”. It is really important and it comes from an attitude of humility. And, you didn’t even have to pay for an expensive course to hear this lesson 😊.
Please read the short passage above and respond to the question below.
Do you believe you typically create environments (e.g., at home, church, work or school) that invite advice and feedback?