How to ruin a friendship

Remember, it is your choice whether or not to read this. I found the perfect book to recommend to a friend who is struggling.

I’m a pusher

Absorbing the wisdom tucked between the pages of the book, an image of her face came to the forefront of my mind. Certain these words would smooth out the wrinkles in her life, I recommended the book to her. Yeah, I may have even bought it for her. I’ve done it at least 3 million times. If you were my patient, you probably were prescribed a book for all manner of ills. Let me just admit – I’m an advice pusher.

Proverbs 22:17, “Listen closely, pay attention to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge.” HCSB

Good  Intentions vs. Bad Timing

We all know pushers. The food pushers say, “Don’t you want another piece of cake? It’s soooo delicious.” The clothes pushers say, “That is sooo cute, you have to buy it.” Hello, my name is Vickie and I’m an advice pusher. Tell me a problem and I’ll suggest a solution, or a book. It’s not that I’m trying to tell you what to do, I just want to share the freedom I’ve found. Not that I wouldn’t be tickled to tell you what to do, just please understand my motive.

But the reality is, sometimes when you are truly struggling, you don’t want to hear it. It’s the timing that’s the rub.

People ask for help. People need help. Those who have traveled the road should absolutely share their wisdom.

Titus 2:3-6, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

When the helmet meets the road

The steady whoosh of wind in my ears was splintered by a scream. I was forced to take my eyes off the road and crane my neck in time to see a flurry of spokes and tires. They landed sprawled on the asphalt with the right pedal still tethered to the rider’s right foot. My brain scrambled to keep up with tumbling arms, legs and the crunch of the cracking helmet. I don’t remember squeezing my own brakes or unclipping my feet, but within seconds I knelt beside my broken friend. To this day, I’m not sure why she wrecked but I never once thought about chastising her,

You should keep your eyes on the road

You shouldn’t follow so closely

You need to watch for loose gravel

Don’t overcompensate if you swerve

Seriously what idiot would do that? Yet, how many times have I offered advice when I should have offered a hand?

Before you offer advice, offer a hand #friendship Click To Tweet
Does offering advice ruin a friendship?

I knelt and rolled a water bottle under her shattered shoulder. My knees ached as I squatted for 45 minutes waiting for the ambulance. If I wrapped both hands around the bottle and elevated my knuckles her grimace was held at bay. I said little, I simply stayed by her side and tried to ease her pain. Imagine the absurdity if I handed her “The Big Book of Cycling,” and said, “You ought to read this, I think it would help you.” Oh but I am guilty of saying;

You ought to…

Have you tried….

You should…..

Ecclesiates 3:7 ,”A right time to shut up and another to speak.” MSG

The Right Time

People want help and I’m eager to oblige. But at times, I’ve regretted the timing. After a porch visit, the lady stood to leave. Her knuckles blanched as she gripped the handles of her purse. The corners of her mouth strained upward while the pools barely contained in her lower lids threatened to leak onto her cheeks.

“Will you pray for me?”

Words, tears and emotions gushed out as shared her heartbreak. She blew the whistle and cried for a lifeline. We hugged and prayed and talked. I gave advice and….

I recommended a book

I couldn’t help it. I’m an advice pusher. At least I am willing to admit it. Are you?

So how do you know when it’s time to help and when it’s time to hear? Maybe we should push pause and pray.

Waiting for emergency care at the crash scene is certainly not the time to lecture or fix. Sometimes the most powerful action is none, except a listening ear and a comforting presence.

But of course, when they ask, that’s a different story. Remember, it was your choice to read this. I even wrote my own book on forgiveness. Click here to order on Amazon.

If you admit you are an advice pusher share this post. Tell ’em I recommended reading it.

16 thoughts on “How to ruin a friendship

  1. Good post! I think most of us have spoken advice at some time when we should have listened, not because we thought we knew it all, but because we cared. However, developing a sensitivity to God’s timing is the best way and all a part of growing up in the Spirit.

  2. Vickie I am the one who has been waiting around for a diagnosis who thought it could be MG. You posted your email but I can’t find it now. The way I tried emailing didn’t work, so would it be OK if I got it again? Marrianne (Marr). Thanks

  3. Oh Vickie, I’m an advice pusher, too! Great point about the timing thing. I try to wait until someone asks for advice but I certainly could do better. I know that’s true when it comes to my children. Whew! Hope your friend’s shoulder healed quickly and that she’s doing well. Blessings to you!

  4. The bike analogy was spot-on. I’m an advice pusher, too. Maybe we should start a group?! Seriously, the bike wreck is speaking loud and clear. Thank you for offering a generous read this morning via #raralinkup.

  5. Haha- the food pusher example got me. I am an advice pusher. And like you said, if I’m pushing you it’s because I really love you, I really see your struggle, and I really want you to be healing, happy, and at peace with the Lord! But you are so right. Timing is essental. I’m in with Kristi- maybe we need a support group for advice-pushers haha!! That would be a sight!

  6. What a brilliant angle to this dilemma! I struggle … holding back when I shouldn’t and not holding back when I should! This story will stick in my head as a little “guide”! Thank you for the inspiration and wisdom today! It was nice to connect with you through #SittingAmongFriends!

    Blessings and smiles,

  7. One line towards the end of your blog, “Sometimes the most powerful action is none, except a listening ear and a comforting presence,” is the EXACT conclusion that Phillip Yancy comes to in his book, “Where is God When it Hurts.” . . .Fabulous book! I guess I’m recommending it! LOL!!

    Thanks for the reminder!

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