關於建議的一些建議

By Robert J. Tamasy

當你在一個問題或進退兩難的困境中奮戰時,你是否願意尋求建議?而若你會尋求建議,你會選擇怎樣的人去問他們的意見?

賽斯.戈丁是一位著名的作家、企業家、行銷高手和公共演說家。他最近提出一些有關好建議的觀察。他說:「好建議是無價的。並不是你想要聽,而是你需要聽…。它不會讓你覺得舒服,而是讓你實際變得舒服。要尋求好建議,並擁抱那些關心你且願意冒險與你分享好建議的真正朋友。」

戈丁說好建議是「無價的」,因為那不是我們想要聽的,而是我們需要聽的。我們常常向某些人尋求意見,因為我們知道他們會說我們想聽的事──加強我們的結論或確認我們已作的決定。但真正的朋友和可靠的勸告者不是那些講順耳話語的人;而是若有需要,願意冒險告訴我們不容易接受之真理的人。

我記得以前我曾經有好幾年擁有一份好工作。我仍然喜歡那工作的某些方面,但我愈來愈坐立不安。我不想找別的工作機會的一個原因是安穩──我的薪資合理;在我的職位上我覺得「舒適」;而與許多人一樣,覺得已知的現在比未知的將來較沒有威脅性。

然後一位不請自來的朋友問我:「若錢不是問題──若保證你會有你需要的收入,你還會留在你現在的工作嗎?」這問題讓我毫無防備,但在一些猶豫不決後,我承認我可能會換工作。後來,又共有三位我沒有主動提問的朋友也作了類似的建議。因此,我就開始探索一些其他的工作機會。在幾個月後就找到一個更值得做且更有挑戰性的工作。他們的建議的確被證明是「無價的」。

聖經常常談到好建議和智慧意見的益處,尤其是箴言。以下是聖經提供有關建議的一些建議:

藉著尋求建議展現智慧。我們很容易以為自己的想法是對的,不需要別人的意見。但藉著尋求建議,建議者可能會顯示出我們推理判斷的錯誤。「愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教」(箴言12章15節)。

從許多資源尋求意見。為確保你會得到正確的諮詢,向許多你信任他們洞見和智慧的人求問是很有幫助的。「不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成」(箴言15章22節)。

接受好的建議並增長智慧。我們沒有一個人知道所有的答案,所以向別人尋求建議讓我們獲得他們的洞見和所了解的事──這對我們有益處。「你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧」(箴言19章20節)。

別忘了向那「策士」尋求意見。在以賽亞書9章6節中,上帝被稱為「奇妙策士」。在尋求建議時,我們若沒有透過禱告向祂求問,並研讀聖經中可應用在我們情況中的教導,就是我們的疏忽。「你們中間若有缺少智慧的,應當求那厚賜與眾人、也不斥責人的神,主就必賜給他」(雅各書1章5節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

省思 / 討論題目
你一向多容易尋求並接納建議? 當你需要智慧的意見時,誰會是你第一個尋求的對象?你是否認為他們是有勇氣告訴你真相的「好朋友」,即使你不喜歡他們所說的?請解釋。 你是否同意賽斯.戈丁所說,好建議是「無價的」?為什麼?若你同意,你能否想出任何例子來證明? 聖經關於尋求建議與諮詢的訓誡中,哪一項對你最有意義或與你的情況最相關?若你想看或討論聖經對此主題的其他部份,請看以下經文:箴言11章14,12章5節,13章1節,19章27節,20章18節,24章5-6節,27章9節,27章17節;傳道書4章9-12節

SOME ADVICE – ABOUT ADVICE
By Robert J. Tamasy

When you are wrestling with a dilemma or problem, how willing are you to seek advice? And if you do look for advice, who are the people with whom you choose to consult?

Seth Godin, a noted author, entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker, recently offered observations about good advice. He called it “priceless. Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear…. Not designed to make you feel better, (but) designed to make you better. Seek it out and embrace the true friends that care enough to risk sharing it.”

Godin says good advice is “priceless” because it is not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear. Too often we seek advice from people we feel confident will tell us what we desire to hear – to reinforce our conclusions or affirm decisions we have already made. But true friends and trusted advisors are not those that “tickle our ears,” but those willing to risk – to tell us difficult truths if necessary.

I remember a time when I had been at a good job for a number of years. Some aspects of it remained enjoyable, but I was feeling increasingly restless. One reason I was not inclined to explore other job opportunities was security – my compensation was reasonable, I felt “comfortable” in my role, and as with many people, the “known” seemed less threatening to me than the unknown.

Then unsolicited, a friend asked me, “If money were no object – if you were assured of receiving the income you needed – would you stay where you are?” The question caught me off guard, but after some hesitation had to admit I probably would make a change. Then, again totally without being asked, three other friends made similar suggestions. As a result, I did start to explore some other job opportunities I learned about and within a few months found a much more rewarding and challenging position. Their advice had indeed proved to be “priceless.”

The Bible speaks often about the benefits of good advice and wise counsel, particularly in the book of Proverbs. Here is some of the advice the Scriptures provide about advice:

Demonstrate wisdom by soliciting advice. We can easily convince ourselves that our thinking is right and we do not need the counsel of others. But by seeking advice, advisors might show the errors in our reasoning. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

Seek counsel from several sources. To ensure you are getting correct counsel, it is helpful to consult with several people whose insight and wisdom you trust. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Receive good counsel and grow in wisdom. Not one of us knows all the answers so seeking advice from others gives us access to theor insights and understanding – to our benefit. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20).

Do not fail to consult the “Counselor.” In Isaiah 9:6, God is called “Wonderful Counselor.” In seeking advice we would be remiss not to consult with Him through prayer and reading the Scriptures for teaching that applies to the given situation. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Typically, how receptive are you to seeking and receiving advice? Who are the individuals you would turn to first when in need of wise counsel? Do you consider them “good friends” with the courage to tell you the truth, even if you did not like what they had to say? Explain your answer. Would you agree with Seth Godin that good advice is “priceless”? Why or why not? If you do agree, can you think of any examples when that proved to be true for you? Which of the biblical admonitions about seeking advice and counsel, if any, seem most meaningful or relevant for you?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions from the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 11:14, 12:5, 13:1, 19:27, 20:18, 24:5-6, 27:9, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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