Handling Unsolicited Advice
Most of us will at one time or another, receive a message from a stranger who feels as though they have a prophetic word for us, a word of correction or some kind of spiritual advice. In the age of social media, it’s much more common to receive this kind of communication than was just a few years ago. Dealing with strangers who want to become involved in our personal lives and in our relationship with God can be frustrating. Part of the process of maturing in Christ is learning how to wisely handle unsolicited attempts from strangers who want to minister their gifting to us.
Sometimes a stranger will have a message from God, but other times the message they bring is not from Him. It’s a personal issue being portrayed as Godly revelation. Some believers accept revelation from just about anyone. They tend to value revelation more than they value relationships. Ministry from a stranger can be difficult to act upon because we don’t know the heart or motives of a stranger. It’s my experience that the most effective ministry is carried out between people who know one another. Ministry from someone we know and trust is easier to receive and act upon because we’re more likely to know their heart and their motives.
If you value relationship over revelation, being firm in your convictions about the need for relational ministry can help you avoid being manipulated by a stranger. Being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit will allow you to discern the source of the message. Being patient can keep you from becoming offended by them. (Unity in the body of Christ is largely an issue of learning how to avoid offenses.) Being kind can keep you from unnecessarily offending them.
I’ve never had this happen, personally. God has been having me give out a lot of prophetic words to ppl lately. I’ve been giving them to ppl I know or taking requests. I’ve thought about expanding & giving them out to other ppl who didn’t ask. What is the difference between prophetic evangelism & being rude? Will God give you a word for someone if He doesn’t want you to deliver it ?
Thank you for addressing this critical issue. I appreciate that you emphasize relationship over revelation. Blessings!
As a faith-driven artist I have been exposed to a good deal of unsolicited “advice”. Usually it’s been someone in the church wanting to co-opt or hijack me and my skills for some project they have in mind that would help their “ministry”.
It has taken me years, but these days I politely tell them that I’ll check with Father first, and we’re done. Or that I’ve been someone whose name keeps coming up in their search committee and that I’d be “perfect” as an Elder or Deacon. Again, I’ve politely but firmly had to share God’s call on my life and that these roles they’re offering don’t fit with God’s fully established call on my life, thank you anyway.
Thank you for pointing to the vital significance of an existing relationship with both the source, and with Father God – the ultimate source.
I usually just say thank you and go my merry way. It took me along time to get to that point. I used to want to explain or defend myself. In fact, at one point in time, There was a woman who considered me her personal mission. If I crossed her path at fellowship, she’d start spouting off. She was a prayer team member and if I went forward for prayer, she made me her mission. I’d like to tell you she learned her lesson. But, that wasn’t the case. She finally left me alone because she didn’t see her expected results.
Sadly, this is spiritual witch craft. When we think our opinion is God’s opinion. When we then try and make others function according to our opinion, we enter into control and manipulation. That, dear friends, is witch craft.
Within the last year, we had a guest speaker start publicly shelling out advice as he lectured. He actually told some people to loose weight. (It was only his second day with us) I had damage control to do. I sent out a message to our gathering stating that people in the public eye are walking the path of maturity along with us. Because they have something of value to share and train does not mean they are mature in all their ways. I also personally went to those I thought might be the most damaged and let them share how they felt. I helped them deal with their pain.
In the future, if guest speakers we host start popping off their opinions, I will take them aside and ask them to stop.
Sigh, the body of Christ in all our forms is a wonderful thing.