“Never have more children than you have car windows,” advised the late American humorist Erma Bombeck.
Bombeck achieved popularity for her syndicated newspaper column that humorously described the American home, marriage, relationships and life in general from 1965 to 1996.
The author of 15 books, here’s some additional advice Bombeck offered.
- Never loan your car to someone to whom you have given birth.
- Pick your friends carefully. A “friend” never goes on a diet when you are fat or tells you how lucky you are to have a husband who remembers Mother’s Day–when his gift is a smoke alarm.
- Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
- Know the difference between success and fame. Success is Mother Teresa. Fame is Madonna.
- Never be in a hurry to terminate a marriage. Remember, you may need this man or woman someday to finish a sentence.
- There are no guarantees in marriage. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a Sears battery.
Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, reminds us that wise people seek advice. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Prov.12:15).
There are two extremes in seeking advice. Some people listen to everyone’s advice, regardless of their wisdom, insight or experience in life. Then others foolhardily rush forward failing to seek proper counsel or listen to those who offer it.
Some situations call for input from people with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Solomon observed,” Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22).
However, John Maxwell in Thinking For A Change offers this bit of caution: “Getting insight from a variety of people doesn’t mean stopping anyone and everyone in hallways and the grocery store line and asking what they think about a given subject. Be selective. Talk to people who know and care about you, who know their field and who bring experience deeper and broader than your own.”
One mistake I’ve observed over the years is Christians seeking the advice of other Christians about issues in which they have little or no expertise. In areas like medicine, law, and financial investments, being a Christian doesn’t automatically equip one to possess the knowledge, education, and insight necessary to advise others. However, many are way too willing to offer such advice, and unfortunately many are willing to accept and follow it. e.g. facebook.
Of course, some people really don’t want advice from someone who has insight into an issue. As one sage said, “The trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans.” Through the years I’ve had people coming to me for spiritual advice, but they rejected it. They really weren’t seeking advice, but a preacher who would agree with and confirm a choice they’d already made.
As we seek advice from the right sources it has a cumulative effect in improving our knowledge, insight, and wisdom. Solomon said, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (Prov. 19:20). In fact, the British writer, John Churton Collins offered this bit of irony, “To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.”
Finally, this piece of advice: If you ever get caught sleeping on the job, slowly raise your head and fervently say, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman