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.