Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Proverbs 19:20 (ESV)
Sound, prudent advice is a valuable tool for those who want to become wise. This admonition in Proverbs counsels us to listen to advice so we can gain wisdom. It’s a good idea to seek the advice of those with knowledge and wisdom. If we fully hear and accept their words, we can learn from them and prepare ourselves for the future.
But we must be careful to weigh the advice we receive rather than believing everything. The idea behind this verse is not to necessarily do everything people tell you that you should. Rather, we should hear them and try to learn from their advice. Is it good or bad advice? Why? We’ll only gain wisdom when we examine the quality of that advice and how it applies.
It’s interesting that this verse says you’ll gain wisdom in the future. The things we learn right now may not be of much help currently, but they may help us have a better understanding in the future. I’ve found this to be true in my life. I enjoy learning about a wide variety of topics – many of which are quite useless to me right now. But what I’ve found is that having a broad knowledge helps me understand the issues I’m dealing with now. I can apply concepts from one field to comprehend ideas in another. So it’s prudent for us to listen to good advice and be learning even when we don’t think it is useful now. A love of learning is a great tool for gaining wisdom.
I pray that my writing on Provident Planning will help you gain wisdom for your personal finances. But please examine what I say, thoughtfully consider it, and see how it may or may not apply to your own situation. Ask questions. Disagree. Share your advice. In this way, we can all gain wisdom for the future.
Paul, “But we must be careful to weigh the advice we receive rather than believing everything.”–This is the tension in that verse for us, I think.
We all understand the concept of wise counsel in THEORY, but how can we know when the advice given is truly wise? Usually when we seek advice, we’re confused, which can also mean too confused to know wise counsel from having our ears tickled.
I try to seek the counsel of several trusted people, and the interesting thing is that there often is a concensus of opinion even when they don’t know each other. This is how I know they give sound advice. Maybe the first thing we need to do is make sure we have those trusted counselors in our lives, and if we don’t, to seek them.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Blue Collar Jobs Can’t be Moved Offshore =-.
You make a great point, Kevin. It really helps to have several people you trust and know to be wise. It makes the discernment of good counsel much easier.