Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friend? Guess not.

Let me give you an example of two people...

The first person knows when to give good advice (i.e. Emmy, Lori)
The second person does NOT know when to give advice (i.e. Me)

I recently made the mistake of giving (what I thought was good) advice to someone whom I care about. This person is going through a really rough time. I felt that I truly needed to tell her what was on my heart, especially, after pondering a few verses that led my sweet friend to give difficult advice to one of her friends.

Proverbs 27:9 - "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."

Proverbs 27:17 - "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Proverbs 27:5,6 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
"


I am thinking that my biggest problem was that I wrongly assumed that this person and I were "real" friends. But, she was confiding in me, right? I see now (hindsight is always 20/20) that we probably had not reached that intimate point where you move from being acquaintances to friends.

I also feel torn because I honestly believe that I needed to say what was said, but was it, really? Did I mistake the need to vent my opinion for the nudging of the Holy Spirit?

I am the first to admit that I am not always 100% tuned into the voice of God, which is why I never say things like "God told me" until I am absolutely positive it really was Him. Now I am just confused because I thought I was doing the right thing; but it certainly didn't open up the honest dialogue I was hoping for.

How do you give godly advice, knowing that it may be taken wrong? Do you still give it? Is there a huge "plank" in my eye? (Please, let me know if there is, I would hate to impale anyone else with it.) What is my responsibility if what I think I did was right, but in doing it have caused offense to my sister in Christ?

I must also weigh the issue that maybe I was right! Maybe she is having the wrong response...

Proverbs 10:17 - "He who heeds discipline shows the way of life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray."

But, that seems pretty self-righteous to impose judgement on someone, just because they bristled at my advice.

Perhaps, you can see the conundrum I am in. Please pray for this situation if you have a moment and I welcome any advice from you, wise reader.

3 comments:

  1. Oh I have gotten myself in a lot of trouble doing this as well. Thinking that because someone is confiding you in they will welcome your advice. It's frustrating because it feels like a one way street. I have just tried to learn how to do a whole lot of listening only. Which is really hard for me. But a lesson I needed to learn. Sometime people just want you to listen. Hope the situation works out.

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  2. i'm still thinking about this one. it's hard...hard to know (and sometimes hard to decipher) when to advise, and where it's coming from (Holy Spirit; your own desire to talk/give input, etc.) i agree with the woman before me, listening is vital. i could surely work on just doing that, too. will be praying about that situation.

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  3. Also, please remember that just because it wasn't received well isn't confirmation that you should not have said it. Some people have such walls that they refuse to see their fault or get advice.

    All you can do is keep praying and check in with her letting her know you care and love her...don't just leave her out to dry. If it was truly a God-thing, there will be confirmation fo ryou AND her of that fact. And, if after much prayer you determing that you got in the way, then go to her, and apologize. Either way, this CAN turn out to be something God has His hand on.

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