Everyone is influenced by other people. We may not realize it and often we are not intentional about it, but it does not remove the fact that we are influenced by others. Some of that influence helps us succeed while some if it causes us to falter. The fact is that we need people to speak into our lives. Proverbs 15:22 (NLT) tells us “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” We need advice and guidance. The key is to be intentional about it. Who are those people and what are they saying to us?
We cannot be willing just to accept any advice. We need the right advice. We also need it at the right time. There are qualities that you want in advisors. You want that person to have integrity. You want them to tell you the truth and you want to know they have your best interest at heart. You also want that person to be spiritually grounded. Their advice has to benefit your walk with Christ. You also want them to be wise. You want them to have a solid life foundation that allows them to speak from a broader perspective. That being said, one person cannot speak into every area of your life. They may meet the criteria listed above, but they will not have enough of the following traits to give you the specific advice you need. So if every advisor needs to have integrity, be spiritual and have wisdom, how do you choose people for a specific area of advice. I think you want to add three qualities to narrow down an area where you are looking for advice.
They need to know what they are talking about. If the advice you need is about money, you want them to have expertise in finances. Expertise comes in many ways from formal education to life experience, but before you seek advice from someone, make sure you know they have a working knowledge about the topic.
Knowledge is important. Experience in a reinforcer. Some things work well on paper. They are theories. Sometimes those things have to be adjusted with experience. The marriage counselor that has never been married may have plenty of expertise, but their limited experience will narrow their ability to assist.
This portion is important. Someone may know a lot about marriage and may have a lot of experience, but none of it seemed to work. Seven divorces bring expertise and experience but very little success. It does not mean the person has never failed. The most successful people have failed many times. The difference is they have used it to grow and become successful instead of repeating the same mistakes.
When you find people who are spiritual and have wisdom and integrity then you combine that with expertise, experience, and success, the result is having a great advisor. Whatever area of your life where you need guidance will benefit when all of these are present.