Monday, November 17, 2008

(Not so) Friendly Advice

Have you ever been blindsided by someone giving you a lecture of advice? We were at piano lessons today and I made the mistake of mentioning getting my kids a flu shot. Apparently the wrong thing to say. I was told about vitamins and how they build the immune system, how her kids never got sick or got cavities and something about eating natural foods. She also doesn't believe in fluoride, which our kids take in pills because we have well water and we want their teeth to last them past the age of 14.

This is not the first time this has happened. The last time it came up was when Maren was getting tubes in her ears. She had a long list of things we could do to help that too. At that point, after having a screaming child with ear infections I was in no mood to hear what I should or could be doing. I was instead counting the days until surgery!

I'm kind of hotheaded and emotional at times - ok a lot of times. But I stayed pretty cool and smiled and nodded. But when I got home I was furious! How dare someone who barely knows me lecture me on how to care for my children. Does she think I'm an idiot and haven't thought through and prayed about things? Does she know that I can't afford to buy the high priced vitamins she touts for my 5 kids? Does she know that we do eat a lot more whole foods these days?

After I ranted and raved to Mike for a while (you should pray for him - he bears the brunt of all my issues), I realized a few things. I need to be teachable and open to what other people are saying. Who knows she might have some good options that I might not have tried and is probably trying to help me. Although it might seem really rude and annoying to me.

Also, I need to think about this when I give advice to people or tell them what I have tried. Maybe it comes across in the same way without me meaning it to. I need to be careful to not assume I have all the answers or know where this person has been. Jesus is the only Way, our opinions are not. It's really easy when I feel passionate about something to preach it. I know it's hard to imagine that, but it's true! How many times have I made someone feel the same way I felt today?

It's apparent that humility needs to grow in my life.

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.

James 1:21
Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.


Deb Hansen said...

Thanks for your honesty Michelle. I often am reminded to pray before I speak because I am not the authority on everything like I like to think I am at times. God continues to humble and teach me through others who usually annoy me!

Bonny said...

Ahhhh unfortunately I've been on both ends of that kind of conversation.