Lessons learned Mentoring

Unsolicited advice – Always viewed as Criticism

May 8, 2017



It is so easy to miss our own failures when we are considering the failures of others. As a young man and sadly even into middle age, I was all too eager to help others as I watched them make, what in my mind, were poor decisions, bringing heartache on themselves and on those who loved them. I would have grown more quickly into Christ-likeness if I had given more attention to my own problems and less to those around me.

However, there were times when others actually did ask for my help. By the grace of God, here are some things that I have learned over the past twenty-five years.

  1. Giving unsolicited advice is always viewed as criticism by the receiver.
  2. Sometimes when people say they are asking for advice they simply want you to know what they are going to do. It is good to ask them if they want to know what you think about their decision or do they just want to inform you of their decision.
  3. Often the best thing you can do when others ask if they can talk with you about a problem or a decision is to just say “How can I help you” or “what do you want from me?”
  4. If you are a man responding to a man who is asking what you think about what he told you, a good question could be “do you want me to tell you like a man or like a boy”?
  5. Give advice sparingly and with no assumption that what you recommend will be done.

It is a rare gift to be given the opportunity to speak into the life of another.  If you do receive that gift treat the donor with honor and respect.




Wichita, KS

I am a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I aim to lead a life worthy of my Lord with the utmost humility, to please him in every way, to bear fruit in every good work and to continuously grow in the knowledge of God.

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“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves; when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little; when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

“Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your majesty; where losing sight of land we shall find the stars.”

—Prayer of Vice Admiral Sir Francis Drake