Unless you are an author of an advice column, or your name is Dr. Phil, we all know that giving advice can be difficult, tricky and downright stressful.
I was never really that good at giving advice.
In my entire 29 years, I have always been in the middle of people with the most interesting of problems. I was 15 when one of my classmates told me she was pregnant. I was in my first year of college when I found out that one of my orgmates discovered that his dad was having an affair. At 23, my closest friend told me that he may be bisexual. I have been in the middle of the most bizaare of circumstances, and after an outburst of tears, of angst and of anger, I would almost imagine the sound of crickets chirping in the air, waiting for me to say something.
Anything that would make them feel better.
Most times I would have something to say. Whether it's words of comfort or encouragement (or maybe even a cuss word or two for lying and cheating friends' boyfriends), there will always be something to say, something that would fall as advice. Sometimes they would listen, but in other cases, I realized that friends just need someone to be there with them through the pain. I used to feel an excruciating amount of pressure when faced with difficult problems. As I grew into the corporate world, more and more people have been asking me for advice around their jobs, following their passion or putting their dreams on hold. This makes me feel speechless, silent and uh, a little guilty.
God tells me that I shouldn't feel guilty at all.
God didn't ask me to come with the most powerful, life-changing advice. He wasn't requiring me to be a huge channel of awakening to a hurting friend or loved one. The best advice is to sometimes have no advice at all. God is okay with me being just Barbie, the friend who just listens, the companion who will sit with you until you get tired of crying, the sister who will tell you that everything will be alright, even if sometimes it feels like it won't.
The best advice is not for us to play God. Sometimes, the best advice is to listen, to just be who we are, equally bruised and scarred, to help heal wounds outside of our own. God doesn't ask us to solve our friends' problems for us. In the midst of all our words, He is still in charge, and turning to Him is practically the best advice we can ever give.
"Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." -Jn 15:13