Ever heard the term, “timing is everything?” Well, it is true when it come to giving advice. Many times, people say, “can I give you a piece of advice?” Nine out of ten times that approach falls flat. Until a person is ready to receive your insight and advice, keep it to yourself until you are asked for it.
Like many areas of life, the only person that really change the direction, is that person. All the advice and persuasion in the world will not cause that person to choose another direction. The best counselors will lead a person to make the decision on their own. When they make it on their own, there is a much better chance of change.
We had daughters and there is no better example of what I am saying that trying to get a daughter to follow your advice. You can huff and puff but until that child makes the decision on their own, you will not change them. Oh sure, you can mandate certain things like bedtime, restrict TV time etc. but the big decisions will need to come from them.
Isn’t it that way with God also? He lets you just run your path the way you want to until you come to a hard stop and ask him, “lord, tell me how to fix it.” As with any father, he steps up and impresses his advice in your spirit only because you are ready to hear the advice. Before that moment, you did not want to hear from God. You were doing life like you wanted to. Only until you are ready to lean into his understanding will he act. At least that is my experience.
Ron White is a comedian and is probably not the kind of guy you want to spend a lot of time listening to. Ha. That said, he was telling a story about an argument with his wife when she said, “let me tell you something about you that you didn’t know.” Needless to say, the conversation didn’t go well after that.
I think if you show love first and patience second, the person you are trying to help will be much more receptive to your advice. We as guys, want to fix everything quickly. It is our nature but matters of the heart just do not work that way. It takes time and trust. Being there and being present is probably the greatest gift you could give. KT