Skip to main content

A little advice anyone?

"It takes a great man to give sound advice tactfully, but a greater to accept it graciously." (Logan Pearsall Smith) Tactfulness is simply the ability to know what to say or do in order to avoid offending somebody.  Some call it the necessary "social skill" in order to deal with "difficult" or "sensitive" situations.  Truth be told, my tactfulness flies out the window if I get too tired, a little frustrated because I am behind on projects, or just don't take the time to think before I speak.  If tactfulness is that hard to be consistent with as we respond to people and circumstances, then maybe this is why we have a few more opportunities to "put things right" than we'd really like!  Sometimes we are on the receiving end of tactfulness, while at others we are expected to be the ones exhibiting a little.  It goes both ways, but sometimes the opportunities are a little more "one-sided" because one of the individuals is just in need of it a little more because of their life events at the moment.  Being on the receiving end of tactfulness is kind of like an extension of grace - we don't deserve the gentleness and wisdom of the other person's response to us, but we sure appreciate it!

My son, always remember what I have taught you; keep my instructions dear to your heart.  If you do, they will be your guide to a long, healthy, prosperous life. Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth; engrave them on a pendant, and hang it around your neck; meditate on them so they are written upon your heart.  In this way, you will win the favor of God and others, and they will think well of you. (Proverbs 3:1-4 VOICE)

We can receive gracious advice at times when we most need it which often changes the attitude we have toward the thing we are dealing with.  That advice kind of "balances" us by adding a type of "counter-weight" to the stressful pressure of the moment which has caused an imbalance within our perception, attitude, or responses.  Those who learn to be the "counter-balance" in another's life have truly learned to be a blessing!

Gracious advice is more than just "cutting someone a little slack" at the moment.  It carries the idea of being compassionate toward the other person, with whatever is needed to demonstrate the measure of grace that individual needs at the moment.  It may be we just respond with kind words, but it could be we lend a hand, helping them to get beyond the thing which has become a frustration to them.

Some of the best "advice" I have received is not just that which came in words, but was also accompanied by some pretty significant action which helped me move beyond the hurdle in front of me.  We tend to think of advice as words, but helping someone find the solution they need to the problem they are facing can often mean we get our hands dirty in the process!  Advice in a godly sense goes beyond "recommendations" given in word alone!

The greatest "advice" we give to others is to always infuse truth into the circumstance at hand.  It may the one thing which is missing because the individual is so focused on what isn't working they cannot see all the parts which are working well.  It is like seeing one crack in the block wall and believing the entire wall needs to be replaced.  Often we just need to replace one section in order for the entirety to be whole again.  When we infuse godly wisdom into the circumstance, it is like we help to bring someone out of their "laser focused" concern about the issue into the place they can see the bigger picture and remember there is a solution in reach.  Truth will never steer us wrong!  Just sayin!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean