My kids fell in love with the movie Curious George. I listened to it in the minivan so many times, I might be able to recite 75% of it from memory.

In one scene, Will Ferrell’s character, Ted (The Man With the Yellow Hat), realizes he’s made a mistake by choosing to send George away. He talks to his friend (a school teacher named “Miss Dunlop” played by Drew Barrymore) about the situation, and she immediately asks,

“Ted, do you want to hear what you want to hear, or what you should hear?”

When he replies, “Uh…could you run that by me again?” she continues:

“Do you want to hear the truth which you should hear and I’ll tell you, and not just what you think you want to hear? The truth is that George is gone and it’s your fault. Now the question is, what are you going to do about it?”

Miss Dunlop didn’t pull any punches, hey?

Proverbs 12 (along with many other places in Scripture) deals with the issues surrounding the giving and receiving of advice. But gosh, sometimes it’s really hard to take it, right?

The New Living Translation puts a few of these verses so plainly you almost want to laugh…

“…It is stupid to hate correction.” (v.1) {OUCH!}

“…the advice of the wicked is treacherous.” (v.5)

“…but the words of the godly save lives.” (v.6)

“Wise words bring many benefits…” (v.14)

And here’s one to really drive the point home clearly:

“The godly give good advice to their friends;

  the wicked lead them astray.” (v.26)

If I’m going to be most honest, I’m going to tell you there have been many times in my life when I would’ve much rather had someone tell me what I wanted to hear, instead of telling me the truth. 

Not too long ago, I asked a friend for advice about one of my kids, and she was honest with me.

The audacity.

At first, I was a little irritated that I wasn’t just hearing what I wanted to hear when I asked her opinion. But her honesty gave me so much food for thought that by the time I got home I was genuinely repentant — realizing I’d totally been making a bad choice with how I was handling a situation. And then I appreciated her friendship even more. I would’ve been stupid not to receive correction, right? 

So, where are you going when there’s a big decision on the table and you don’t want to make it alone? Do you have friends who will tell you exactly what you want to hear? Do you have friends who will tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not?

And when you’re in the hot seat as an advisor — are you taking it seriously? If you aren’t sure what your opinion should be do you ever take the time to say “let me think that through/pray about that and then share my thoughts?”

There’s a constant tug on our heartstrings, each and every one of us, to choose some way that isn’t God’s way. In small ways and in big ways, we are going to feel pressure to (as discussed last week) do the thing that will give us the results we want, instead of the thing that is the right thing to do.

Let’s sum up this ‘thread’ of the conversation in Proverbs 12 with two potential golden nuggets, shall we?

1) Think carefully about who you ask for advice. Don’t choose the people who will tell you what you want to hear. Choose the godly people who will tell you the truth.

2) Think carefully before you advise your friends, spouse, children, loved ones… We honor the Lord when we spur one another on to good works — and God’s will is always where the good stuff is.

P.S. The Children’s Miracle Network was not able to hold their annual telethon this year because of COVID-19 {what else!} Along with many other miracle families, we are raising funds to benefit the incredible hospital that (along with so many prayers) saved our son’s life. Please click here to learn more.

P.P.S! If you are new around here, I’d love to welcome you to subscribe for a weekly deep breath and a slice of encouragement. I’ll send you my latest little ebook, Ten Simple Way to Share Your Faith With Your Kids. You can sign up and grab that right here.