Paschal Agonsi

Beware of the Yes-Man

beware the yes-man

No one likes to hear that they’re wrong, or that they must do something that makes them feel awkward.

You don’t want to hear that you’re behaving incorrectly.

You don’t want to hear that you’re not doing a great job at work.

You don’t want to hear that some of your friends are eroding your morality.

You don’t want to hear that you could really be doing more, a lot more, for God.

Of course, you don’t, because it makes you uncomfortable.

But if you never seek it out, or at least take it from those who give it to you, you’ll never grow or improve.

If you have a sticky moral question and immediately like the answer you get, think again. It may very well be that you like it so much because it isn’t challenging you; it’s simply pandering to your comfort zone, or worse yet, your baser instincts.

Be honest and brave to seek out mentors who go hard on you and tell you things you don’t want to hear.

When your spouse, children, friends, or co-workers tell you something you don’t like, listen to it.

beware the yes-man

If you read something that starts making you itchy under the collar, stop yourself and try to embrace the chance to finally hear the truth.

You see, as we navigate life and try to do the right thing, there are many competing voices advising us.

Internal voices compete for our ears, and countless other external voices chime in as well.

Who do we listen to? Voices that tempt us to do outright terrible and stupid things are relatively easy to ignore. But hardly anything in this world is black and white, so how do we know who to listen to?

The book of Deuteronomy 13:7 discusses the laws pertaining to someone who persuades others to engage in idolatry:

If your brother, the son of your mother, tempts you in secret, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your embrace, or your friend, who is as your own soul, saying: “Let us go and worship other gods, which neither you, nor your forefathers, have known.”

Understood this way, the identifying marker, “your brother,” is actually a handy and helpful tip for identifying the enemy.

Avoid the voice that sounds like “your brother.”

If it’s overly comfortable, very nice to you, and oh-so-cosy, beware.

Those are the internal yes-men who are simply telling you what you want to hear.

Chances are quite high that they’re wrong.

Inviting opposition is a great way to ensure a correct conclusion.

Beware the yes-man. He may make you feel good, but you’re smarter than that.

Edited from the original article by Aharon Loschak

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