Advice – Human and Otherwise

One blog I read recently pondered the question: How do you know whether or not you should take advice you’re given?

Writing particularly for college students, she writes,

"Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Is this a person an authority on the subject? How so?
  • Does this person know enough about you and the situation to provide appropriate advice?
  • Has this person ever been in the same situation? What did they decide? Why?
  • What’s your first reaction to the advice? If your reaction is strong one way or the other, go with your gut reaction.
  • Is the advice something you’ve considered before? If not, why not? If so, do you agree?
  •  What do you like about the advice? What do you dislike about the advice?
  • Do you know anyone else who has taken this advice before? What was their result?

Other lessons learned:

  • Get a second opinion. (And, possibly a lot more opinions, if needed)
  • Go with your gut.
  • Give a clear explanation of the situation. (For instance, Maybe I forgot to mention how rewarding I was finding college.)
  • Don’t sound too lost.
  • Ask for specific advice,
    not general. Instead of asking: “What should I do?” Try “I think I want
    to major in something that involves writing, what majors involve a lot
    of writing?” Or, “I’ve been looking into two different majors, in your
    opinion, which of these translates into a better a job market?”
  • Be particularly wary of unsolicited advice. We all love to dish it out, but we have to do what’s right for us."

Not bad. I might add, "Is the advice I’m receiving reflect the values of Christ?"

Here is one of the best from Scripture:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." – Proverbs 3:5-6

It’s easier to seek advice from those around us. We should. But, we should always remember that the Cross is our ultimate guide for decision-making. The world is full of bad advice, but the Scriptures full of the good.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.