So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he said. - Exodus 18:24 NKJV
How many times have you given advice that was not taken well by the recipient? To the contrary, how often have you received advice and not reacted well to it? Unsolicited advice from a friend, family member or work associate can have mixed results. More often than not, the well-meaning advice should have never been verbalized. Sometimes though, the advice we receive may be exactly what we need to hear.
In Exodus 18, we see a perfect example of how such advice should be given and received in the continuing saga of Moses leading Israel to the promised land. His father-in-law, Jethro, pays a visit which had a huge impact on Moses. At the time of Jethro's visit, Moses was really getting bogged down in the details of judging every case of law brought to him by the people. Hard telling how petty some of them were! We can only imagine. In short, Jethro saw what was going on and advised Moses to start delegating the smaller tasks so he wouldn't get burnt out.
The key points to remember from this passage are related to when we should give advice and how we should receive it.
1. When giving, be educated. We see in Exodus 18: 14 that Jethro spent some time observing the situation. I'd venture to say that Jethro was also sensitive to God's leading as well. Advice should not be given unless all of the facts are known and mutual respect is established.
2. When receiving, be humble. Moses implemented all that Jethro advised him to do because he was a humble leader. Moses valued effectiveness more than his ego. He listened to wise Jethro and was a more effective leader for it.
Yes, giving unsolicited advice is a risky thing to do, but may be just the thing someone in your life needs to hear. If given in the right way, it could be life-changing. Who in your life might need your help today?
Janna Rust is a Life/Business Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.