The Difference Between Advice and Criticism 

It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to give people advice in a way that doesn’t make them angry.  Still haven’t got it down 100% but I’m getting better.  While in the past I used to try and win people over with my solid logic and pervasive conviction but now I have learned to look for one thing, the willingness to learn. I felt the Lord told me, advice without interest is criticism. So as hard as it can be, I have to shut it down when people don’t respond well because it will probably end in an offense. Just this last week I was at a conference and during the natural course of conversations I had opportunity to share two of the most important things I have learned in the past year. Not just useful tips but I’m talking true game changers and in both instances I got shut down and blown off. While it was tempting to dig in my heels and educate them, I just had to let it go.

The Lord brought two passages of scripture to my attention over and over and over until I finally saw the connection. The first is the “Writing On The Wall” where Daniel is summoned by the King to interpret, what turns out to be, a very difficult message from God. The result: Daniel was honored with riches and promotion. The other scripture is in Acts where Stephen was brought before the Jewish rulers because of false testimony against him. He then delivers one of the most clearly articulated messages recorded in the Bible, preaching from Abraham to Jesus.  The result: they took him out of town and stoned him to death. What was the difference?  These were both difficult messages to deliver, both done with accuracy and skill; however, one was rewarded and one was punished. The only thing that was different was interest. The king really wanted to know and the Jewish rulers thought they already knew.

I am not suggesting that you blindly follow everyone you come across because when it comes to worship training, and especially sound training, everyone seems to be an ‘expert’. What I would challenge you to do is be ready to learn, write things down, do some research, or ask some further questions. You might not find nuggets of gold in every bit of wisdom that is thrown your way but you also won’t be missing out on the ones that are.

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