Our Pastor spoke on a great topic this Sunday. It was on giving good advice. He talked about how each of us has the ability to be a counselor inside of us. Many of us are great counselors and don’t realize it. When friends come to us with an issue in their lives, seeking advice we become counselors. Whether or not we are good counselors depends on how we handle the situation and what advice we give.
- First we need to become women of integrity. In order to give advice that the listener will respect, we need to live a life of integrity. Practice what you are preaching.
- The second is probably one of the hardest for us as women, confidentiality. Yes this is gossip. We all work very hard not to gossip, in fact I don’t think any of us would say that we are a gossip, but how many of us have said something, me included, like “Oh! You need to pray for so and so, did you know that her husband cheated on her”. Well there you go, Christianized Gossip. Not only do you spread gossip but you also lose all of your credibility as a source of good advice. You are no longer a trusted friend.
- The next one is being timely and tactful. This is learning to wait on God for his timing and His words. We tend to rush in and say to much, to soon and possibly using the wrong words. We want so badly to make things right in our friend’s life that we go for the quick fix. Little chunks of truth will be more easily taken, than burying them with a dump truck of truth all at once.
- Then we have to develop good listenership, this word was, I think created by our pastor, but it does seem to fill the need for a word here. Good listenership is using the ears of the wise. A wise friend will listen to both sides of the issue before giving advice. Since most of the issues we as women encounter are related to a relationship, there are always two sides of the story. We all love our friends, but they, like all of us are self-centered creatures. When a friend tells you of her troubles, either ask to hear the other person involved perspective, or put yourself in their place before giving the advice.
- Next is Understanding, being empathetic to that person. Realize the perspective they are coming from, it may not be the same as yours. I have always been a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get over it” kind of girl, but I can’t give that advice to all of my friends. They may not be wired that way and their previous issues may be preventing them from “getting over it”.
- Finally, learning to give advice with sincerity. Are you really helping them if you just sympathize and shake your head, telling them that everything is going to be alright. No, sometimes you have to be frank about the situation and in love tell them that possibly they are not being helpful to the situation. Then gently set them straight. Helping people to change and setting them on the right path should be our goal. There are times when I choose not to go to a certain friend when I had a problem, because I knew that I would receive from them what I wanted to hear. I don’t want to hear what I want to hear, I want to hear what I need to hear.
I hope that you will be as blessed as I was by this information. The six qualities and the ideas were from my pastor, I did however add to it to make it fitting for us as women. We are unique creatures you know. Have a wonderful day in the Lord.