Curled up on the couch across from my father, I leaned in to hear what he had to say. Wisdom patterning the years of his life, I knew that his counsel on the matter was needed. He spoke with certainty about the professional issue at hand, addressing the key issues and giving insight both righteous and gracious.
And then he redirected advice towards me personally. Exhortation and correction was in order and I could sense it coming. My head told me what was right, but my heart suffered so. It’s easy to receive advice when it is once removed from our emotions, but when it is close to the heart, that is altogether different.
Protective measures go up.
Yet, I determined in my mind to take it, to heed whatever advice he gave me. I swallowed hard to brace myself, hoping the tears would hold their place. His counsel was good. I was ready for a rebuke, but instead received a protective word. My muscles relaxed and I settled. It was still hard.
All personal advice can be.
We are influenced every day by the people God has placed in our lives. Some people show us how we are to live our lives. Some people give us a picture of what we should move away from. But, we can learn something from everyone. A proud heart tries hard to only be influenced by those who make them feel loved (like my dad towards me). But, a humble heart chooses to to allow God to use all people to teach them; to let even the difficult circumstances and people play a part in shaping their lives. Sure, we need to filter truth and be proactive in who we surround ourselves with, but we cannot be so naive as to think that we won’t be influenced by someone or so arrogant to think that we are too important to receive their perspective.
Wise is the person who softens their heart to godly counsel and makes themselves teachable in all situations.
“To learn you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Proverbs 12:1
“Pride leads to arguments; those who take advice are wise.” Proverbs 13:10
“If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored.” Proverbs 13:18
I am thankful for both an earthly father, and a heavenly one, who love me enough to discipline me. May we all grow in humility as we are influenced by one another.
Wanting to be teachable,
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