Get All the Advice You Can

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

Tommy Bolt, winner of the 1958 US Open, tells a story of something that happened during one of his golf tournaments.  Bolt arrived at the golf course for the tournament and was approached by a youngster, “Mr. Bolt, do you need a caddy, sir?”

Bolt went to the caddy master and asked about the youngster.  The man said, “He’s a real good caddy, knows the course, the greens, and the rules of the game. But he talks a lot.”

So Bolt went back to the youngster and said, “You can caddy for me on one condition: Don’t say a word.” The young man accepted and carried Bolt’s bag.

The first three rounds went well, and Bolt was in contention in the fourth round, when an errant tee shot landed in the rough.  From there, it was a difficult shot to the green.

Bolt asked his caddy, “Do you think a five iron will do the trick?” The kid shook his head no, but never said a word.

“What, you want me to hit a six iron?” Again, the kid shook his head no, but did not speak.

Bolt grabbed a six iron and hit the ball out of the rough and it landed on the green, rolling to within three feet of the hole.

As they walked to the green, Bolt said, “Aren’t you going to say something now, after seeing a shot like that?”   His caddy then replied, “Mr. Bolt, that wasn’t your ball.”

That story reminds me of those times in my life when I have been hesitant, for whatever reason, to listen to the advice of someone else.  To be honest, I am usually hesitant because of pride.  I think I know what’s best and there’s no one who can tell me anything that I don’t already know.  I suspect that I’m not the only one who makes that mistake.

There are countless athletes who refuse to listen to their coaches, students who don’t do what the teacher says is necessary for success in the classroom, and employees who are fired because they won’t listen to instruction regarding how things are to be done in the company.

And, tragically, we are sometimes even hesitant to take advice from God.  We get it in our heads that we know what’s best and so it doesn’t really matter what God has to say.

Tommy Bolt found out the hard way what happens when we refuse to listen to others.  May we have the humility to listen and to learn.

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

3 Comments

  1. Sadly, there are too many people who just think they know it all. Pride is usually the cause. They simply think they are right all the time. I know some people like that and it’s so frustrating … if I let it be!

  2. Advice comes in different forms. Lucy will give you advice for five cents. Your friends will give you advice for free. A CPA will advise you concerning your taxes for a hefty sum. Similarly, a lawyer will render an expert opinion, but the research and a written opinion will cost several hundred dollars.
    As a Marine Corps officer, I often sought the advice of my staff. And there were times I consulted the “gray beards,” retired colonels who had a wealth of experience. The biggest mistake I could make was to ignore some of the advice because of the source. Yet, all of my subordinates owed me their honest opinion. My job was to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    I see myself in Tommy Bolt. There were times I wanted God to carry my clubs and not say a word. Then there was that morning in the South China Sea sitting in a one-man life raft where I desperately needed to hear from HIM. I have been listening more and more each day. It keeps me from hitting the wrong ball.

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