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 Saying no with grace

I feel the Lord is teaching me something I've never done before nor do I have a scriptural frame for. I'm wondering if any saints would like to help me in my study.

Essentially, I have a lot of people in my life that try to give me unwanted advice. Also, the advice is generally narrow in it's scope, partly due to the unwanted advice giver doesn't have all the facts nor do I want to give them all the facts.

I tend to get really frustrated at them and say unbecomingly things (not in love but in frustration).

I feel the Lord is trying to teach me how to receive it with grace but...in the end, make the choices I've convinced of in my heart.

This isn't the only situation where I tend to be a little rash and rude but it's a constant one that hopefully expresses my lesson.

Any thoughts on scripture or biblical stories that I could delve into? Thanks in advance.

 2015/3/13 18:37
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: Saying no with grace

So....... are you asking for advice??


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2015/3/14 0:23Profile









 Re: Saying no with grace

I'm looking for scriptural advice. Yes.

 2015/3/14 12:37
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: hmmmm... Let's try this.

Many years ago I was a professional counsellor, working with troubled youth and later with adult mental patients. In the course of both learning and practice, giving advice is 99% useless. People see what they see, and advice rarely changes that. The tactic I learned to use was to explore that other person's attitudes and objectives making them answer their own questions.

"So, my mother-in-law makes me furious, meddling in my life, always critical. Do you think I should just tell her to go to hell?"

"Wow, she seems to have a lot of control over you. What do you think would happen if you did tell her to go to hell? What do you think she would say, or do? By the way, do you owe her any money?"

You can regain control over the situation not by giving advice but by working some questions into the conversation that will lead the person to making a more informed decision based on their own information.

But my favorite scripture about all this is 1Kings 22. The kings wanted Micaiah's advice from God, and he played it back to them- they knew his first response to them was phony!

Fun to just read something like this and ponder on how God prepares answers for His servants.

No advice really, just some things that work for me.


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2015/3/14 17:25Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7474
Mississippi

 Re: Saying no with grace

You want scripture but let me ask you a question: how do you know God is not using others to teach you?

As I have aged I have learned to appreciate unsolicited advice: I have developed an appreciation because there is a wealth of info one learns from it. Many times when I have spurned their insights it has been to my own hurt.

Let me ask you another question: how would you feel if nobody cared enough about you to offer any suggestions or advice?

On the other hand, any advice given that conflicts with the clear teaching of the WORD is to be shunned - my rely is assuming this is not the case.

Got some more unsolicited advice, did you not? SIGH....can't live long without it...

Sandra

EDIT: BTW, have you considered the 'advice' the prophets shared with the people? It was rarely welcomed by the recipients...just a thought.


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2015/3/14 21:29Profile
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re:

My friend reminded me of his working definition of wisdom, the ability to hear things you don't want to hear, and letting it change you for the better...


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2015/3/14 22:43Profile









 Re:

I appreciate you trying to help but I think I need to clarify more because I don't think I'm being understood. Let me provide some scriptures of bad advice.

Proverbs 18:17, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

- In this case, I'm the 'other'.

1 Kings 12:10-11

10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

- I know at face value this isn't my situation. But I feel that I get a lot of advice, similar to King Rehoboam. Some good, some bad. Most of it is unwanted, yes unwanted. But, some advice is good (the elders)and some of it's bad (the young). My question is geared to, "How do I graciously say 'no' to the 'youth's poor, unwelcomed advice?"

Those are the only quick examples that I can bring up.

But let me first stay that I seek out truth. I'm fairly rigorous. Even when random people say things to me, I'm diligent with their opinion, generally not at first but privately, I will seek out things they say. Why? Because it's just apart of me. I don't fully know why.

Second, context is important. I've repeatedly stated 'unwanted' advice because generally that's how I get advice. People are stating their opinions, even though I never asked for their opinion. I rarely seek out opinions unless I'm uncertain of my next course. And I have mentors to speak some valuable (even painful) advice to me. Let's not focus on the 'I rarely seek out opinions' because that's not the current issue I'm running into, please focus on the next paragraph. :D

Third, for clarification. I guess my request is 'how do I graciously say no (or it's equivalent) to people who provide spontaneous, dispensable, unsuitable, and unqualified advice to me?'

I just read 1 Kings 22. That made me laugh. It's a different situation but a tangent that...was pleasant, oh Micaiah. :)

 2015/3/15 0:38
Renoncer
Member



Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 483


 Re:

LoveMeekHope,

Even when you think that the advice is unwanted, you may want to take heed to it, at least, whatever is good from it, just like you would any prophetic statement.

"Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

Now, you may wonder what this passage has to do with you. Let me explain: If the person is giving you advice with the mindset of leading you in the path of the Lord, speaking God's wisdom into your life, and perhaps even seeing something spiritual that needs to be addressed, it could also be called "forthtelling". Don't think of prophetic statements only in terms of predicting the future or hearing a voice from heaven; rather, think of prophetic statements as speaking the truth of God into someone's life.

The challenge with giving advice or speaking truth into someone's life is that the person has preconceptions that may not agree with the words spoken by the outsider.

For example, if your comment was posted with the presupposition that you are right in rejecting people's advice, then you will not be open to someone telling you that you may want to consider taking heed to the advice, rather than simply learning how to reject it with grace.

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future."
(Proverbs 19:20)
Notice that it does not say, "Do whatever someone tells you." No, it simply says that you ought to listen and accept whatever is helpful, so that you may gain wisdom.

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice."
(Proverbs 12:15)

To finish, you may think that I haven't really addressed the issue that you wanted me to address. But, is that based on your presuppositions?
Maybe the Lord has a word for you that you were not expecting. Maybe. Maybe that's where being gracious begins.

Test everything, with an open heart. Hold fast to what is good, and abstain from every appearance of evil.

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..."
(James 1:19)

 2015/3/15 8:51Profile
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re:

It looks to me like you are getting some good thoughts here, even though none of us know you or are able to have a direct conversation.

Trying to read a little between your lines, I wonder of there aren't specific people in your life that cause you to be frustrated. For casual acquaintances you might say, "Thank you, I will think about that." You can easily end the conversation without prolonging the thrust and parry.

But if you are willing to engage, perhaps a response like "That sounds interesting. Can you give me an example from your own life where that worked out for you?" As you probably already know, people love to talk about themselves. As they do, they will reveal whether they have any real concern for you and your needs.

We are commanded to love each other, not give each other advice. Loving means seeking the highest and best for that person, and personal questions are a great tool for building the relationship and helping people see themselves more objectively.

I do like a particular quote heard recently, "For men of principle, most decisions are already made before they are encountered."

For such a man, all advice is useful and does not threaten. Wisdom will guide to chew the meat and spit out the bones.


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2015/3/15 13:25Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Sidewalk said: But if you are willing to engage, perhaps a response like "That sounds interesting. Can you give me an example from your own life where that worked out for you?" As you probably already know, people love to talk about themselves. As they do, they will reveal whether they have any real concern for you and your needs.

We are commanded to love each other, not give each other advice. Loving means seeking the highest and best for that person, and personal questions are a great tool for building the relationship and helping people see themselves more objectively.

I do like a particular quote heard recently, "For men of principle, most decisions are already made before they are encountered."



The second part are my thoughts exactly. Although I wouldn't consider myself 'willing to engage' with these people, I am willing to love them, as they are close to me and I value our relationship but their constant poor advice frustrates me. Your response here helped say much more than what I'm looking for. Or in other words, I think the Lord is showing me the depth of your words and it brings me joy because this is what I'm looking for.

Thanks Sidewalk for responding to my requests and staying on topic. Sorry for all the confusion on my part as it's been a constant struggle for me and I've been at loss for words trying to wrestle this issue by myself.

For those not responding to my requests I hope you realize based on your own words, that you are doing what I'm requesting help with. 'Even though this wasn't your request'. It wasn't my request. If someone asks for a fish, why are you giving them clothes? I'm not trying to invoke the harshness of Jesus' words when He used those metaphors, instead I think the contrast of requests/given is simple and appropriate here.

I think this idea that 'I'm doing this for your benefit' belief is arrogant. I'm not saying in the SI people, since I can't speak for that. But in my personal life, when people just vomit out their poor advice (unsaved coworkers, immature colleagues, etc) this is coming from an arrogant spirit, therefore it frustrates me. "But they care" well, I don't know that because if I followed their advice, I'd be ruined. So, let's be of sober mind, not being tossed by every wind of doctrine.

Another belief that I run into, when it comes to this topic (poor advice from others), is it's Western. With democracy the 'norm' now, more and more people believe they are entitled to their opinion and demand that others see value in it. I think this belief has taken some deep roots into our culture. So much so that it's morphed into a freak perversion, dare I say sin. Where people force their opinions upon others. This, is horrible.

Moses and Jesus were called meek. In their cultural context it meant they were gentle or soft spoken (it does have other rich meaning but I diverge). We don't really see that anymore, a quiet confidence.

I'm still a bit more hungry on this topic, so if any saints, or if Sidewalk has some more insight, I'm eagerly waiting. :)

P.S. Sidewalk, for me, this issue in my life was with one specific person but...I've seen how my frustrations extend far past them. It brought my heart low because I don't want to be rude and crass to these people, we aren't called to be that way. So, the Lord used one person's constant poor advice to open my eyes on a deeper issue.

 2015/3/15 14:49





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