Why we should be open to advice


"Where there is strife, there is pride,but wisdom is found in those who take advice." Proverbs 13:10

Sometimes I let my kids control our car.

They don't literally sit behind the wheel, but I do let them tell me where to turn and how to get places.  Most of the time they do a great job, but once we had a complete meltdown in the process.

One child (The Navigator) was directing me to school and the other child (The Backseat Driver) kept saying I was getting bad directions.  There was road construction and the new route wasn't completely familiar to either of them, so I let them toss ideas back and forth.

The Backseat Driver kept trying to explain why the turns should be different and was calmly offering alternatives.  Eventually The Backseat Driver shutdown as The Navigator insisted we were on course.

Although I realized the Navigator was making incorrect choices,  the confidence never waivered. I followed the directions I was given.  Eventually, we all understood we were way off course.

Enter Meltdown Phase:

"UGH!!!  I should have listened!!!!  Now we're lost and I don't know what to do!!"

The Navigator crumbles, confidence is lost, and the regret of failing to listen to The Backseat Driver is crushing.

Confusion. Anger. Humiliation.

These are the emotions leaking out.  They seem VERY powerful for a couple of wrong turns, but I watched them unfold like a Shakespearean tragedy.  From my vantage point, I saw exactly what had happened.

I witnessed the quarrel and the inability to take advice.

The root of the problem was pride.

There was no room for outside input and no ears for wisdom. The Navigator wanted to own the victory and was entirely unwilling to check with others for course correction.

With children, this mistake is easy to see.  However, for most of us, it's difficult to recognize pride in the mirror.

So often I charge ahead - in the name of independence and with the goal of "making things happen."  However, when I shun advice, what results isn't "efficiency" but stupidity.

Pride has an ugly way of revealing itself.

I need to remember that listening to advice before plunging forward is always a wise decision.