Monday, March 07, 2011
Know it All
Know It All
We know there is no shortage of people with opinions about our lives, how we should live, what we should do, how we should handle situations. The problem is however, that it's very easy to give advice or know how to respond to a situation when you are not the one living it.
It also very easy to have an opinion when you don't know all the facts or haven't experienced what the person is going through. For instance, It's easy for me to tell someone to stay married to an abusive spouse, when I don't know what that is like. It's easy for someone to tell you to get a divorce when they've been divorced 5 times. I can't tell you I know how you feel when your dad dies, when my dad is still living. You can't give me good advice on my job when you've not worked there or had to deal with the things I've dealt with there.
However, we live in a society where people are heavy on advice and short on wisdom. I've been just as guilty. Someone will start sharing a problem with us, and before you know it we are pouring our advice on them, without taking the time to listen, maybe pray with them, or just pu ourselves in their shoes.
I've had people come to me with a relationship situation and I've been quick to say dump them, or get over it, well it's easy to say when you're not in it, but when you're in it, it's not so easy to just end a relatioship or even "get over it" so easy.
I think especially as those of us who call ourselves "Christians", we need to be quick to listen, and slow to speak (James 1:19). If we don't have an experience or know what someone is going through, we should be more careful about spewing out advice. We also need to gather facts before we form an opinion about someone or something.
Many times we are biased about our opinions because of our relationship with a person or our own past experiences as well. We must be careful not to taint our words because of our own mistakes or past hurts.
The truth is I don't know it all, you don't know it all, and only God knows it all. When we have issues or problems, we need to take them to God, but it's also a good idea for us to take our problems to trusted friends for Godly counsel, prayer, and advice, so we must choose wisely whom we share our problems with.
Or, if someone comes to you with a problem, then listen, pay attention, and only give advice when asked. Don't force your opinion on someone, especially if you don't know. We must be careful not to give bad advice, or better yet become judgemental or someone's situation that we do not know all the facts or the entire experience.
I do not know it all, you do not know it all. Let's be slower and wiser to start dishing out opinions and advice, and help others by listening and praying, and let's choose wisely who we go to for advice.
1 Peter 2:15(NIV)
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.