Contradictory Advice

28 Mar

Some people get freaked out (or at least at little overwhelmed) when they get contradictory advice from people. It doesn’t bother me at all. When I need wisdom, I do two things. First, I pray and ask God to grant me the wisdom I need (this is what the Bible tells us to do, so I do it); and second, I ask wise people around me (often the way God answers our prayers).

But wisdom is not the same as divine pronouncement. Wise people can disagree — and sometimes even directly contradict each other. But that doesn’t mean that one person is right and the other wrong, nor that there is not useful wisdom and perspective from both people.

I have recently been presented with a situation that is demanding great wisdom from me. It is a situation where I am trying to help someone whose life is falling apart. He is dealing with some pretty big issues — well beyond my expertise nor experience. There is also some risk involved with getting involved, some cost, and some sacrifice.

So I reached out to six different people that I trust and respect and have wisdom — as well as permission to speak into my life. Some of these people have known me a long time (since college and high school even), some know me less well. Some have particular experience in this area, others do not; most were believers, but not all.

The advice I got back was all helpful, even though sometimes contradictory. But that is OK. 

I don’t need people to make decisions for me, just to give me their best wisdom. Then I prayerfully sort through their perspective and arrive at an answer. I don’t dismiss contradicting wisdom, but look for all the different perspectives and issues.

This has been my model for years and it has served me well. And it is serving me well this time too. I encourage you to seek wisdom when you need it — from several people and perspectives — and then prayerfully integrate it all together.



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Posted by on March 28, 2010 in Uncategorized


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