"Your Advice Didn't Work"

Seek wisdom, not formulas.

For the past 20 years, I’ve been in the business of giving advice. Whether I’m teaching at a retreat, on the radio, or sitting one-on-one with a woman, my job is to help people figure out what to do with tough situations in their lives. Sometimes, a woman will tell me that the advice I gave helped her in her marriage or healing journey. Other times, I get frustrated emails or letters telling me that what I suggested didn’t work.

I understand and have been there. I’ve read books and met with counselors who had some good things to say, but the advice didn’t hit the “bull's-eye” with my specific situation. The truth is, even the best advice will not work 100 percent of the time. Why? Because people don’t operate on formulas.

Seek Wisdom, Not Formulas

God created the world with certain scientific principles. These principles make life semi-predictable. When you were in school, you took classes in math and science that taught you principles in the physical world. We are often less intentional about studying the relational and moral principles with which God created us.

What do you think would happen if you gave a two-year-old everything she wants? Whenever she cried or whined, you catered to her demands. You let her eat whatever and whenever she insisted. Instead of setting a bedtime for her, you let her go to bed when she was tired (or when she passed out from exhaustion). Can you imagine what that little girl would be like? Words like demanding, miserable, and spoiled come to mind. What would happen if you raised that same little girl with loving boundaries and discipline?

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Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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May 25

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