Some Advice on Giving Advice

What I wouldn’t give for just one more person in my life willing to give me health advice.

There was so much sarcasm in that opening sentence, I’m surprised the internet can hold it up.

That’s fantastic that you are healthy. It’s great that you feel alive and young and stuff. It’s great that you care enough about me to want me to feel young and alive and stuff. It’s all great.

Great, great, great.

But I’m done now.

I’m especially done with your advice if you weigh more than I do, have been to the doctor more than me in the last two years (which would be zero), have run fewer miles than me in the last week (25), or have taken more medication than me in the last week (zero).

It’s one of my theories that people who give me unsolicited advice on health merely do so to compensate for their own unhealthiness. I am amazed at how many people who weigh more than me give me diet advice. Seriously? Do I look like I need diet advice? No, no I do not.

Another possible reason for constantly sharing health advice is so they can brag about how healthy they are. Since no one cares about your healthy diet enough to ask you about it, you must foist it upon others in the form of “advice.”

Which leads me to advice giving Christians.

Christians who are quick with advice (just read your Bible. Just pray. Just throw away that doubt and just believe.) are also either compensating for lack of spiritual health, or trying to brag about their latest spiritual triumph.

As the old quote goes, “The loudest wagon is the empty wagon.” Most of the time people give advice to make them appear to be knowledgeable on the issue.

If you know your spiritual life is in shambles, the best way to make it look like it isn’t is to give advice. Once you dispense your advice, you imagine the recipient of your advice thinking, “Wow, that person really has it all together. I hope I can grow to be like them.”

In reality, people might be thinking, “And who are you?”

Either that or people do their spiritual stuff and want attention for it. Their giving of advice is not to help you, it’s merely an opportunity to brag about how much they read the Bible, or fast, or pray, or do whatever it is they think is spiritual.

In the end, here’s some advice: If someone asks for your advice, it’s because they see that you have it together and are a worthy person to ask. If no one is asking you for your advice, that means people don’t think you have any to offer. You might want to take that as a tip to get your life in order!

A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?