A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others. (Proverbs 12:15)
Are you a listener? Do you really 'mull-over' advice when you receive it? Or are you someone who acts impulsively? I have been both, but I find my life is a bit less complicated, with a whole lot less 'mop-up moments' when I listen then act! Some treat God's Word as merely advice, not really giving it the respect it deserves. A wise man will listen to others but will always take the advice received and compare it to the principles taught in the Word. Why? Man's advice may not always 'hit the mark' - we need to ensure that it aligns with God's truth.
A fool thinks he has it all figured out, while the wise man will quickly acknowledge it would be foolhardy to just trudge ahead without God's wisdom. Reckless, impetuous, and rash decisions will certainly bring us much woe. Wouldn't it be better to avoid all that heartache and chaotic mess? If we are to act wisely, we need the tools wise men use. What are the tools I often speak about? The Word of God, the confirmation of the presence of the Holy Spirit within, and the wise counsel of others. They all go hand-in-hand. You cannot separate one from the other. I have learned to ask questions such as, "Will God be dishonored by this action?" or "Will this violate my conscience?" Always consider your actions in light of what God says and what your own conscience is warning you against - you might just be duped into doing something contrary to one or the other if you are 'foolhardy' in your planning.
It took me a while to learn to 'listen' to the Word of God. After all, I was reading it silently, so 'listening' wasn't really one of my sensory responses. The type of listening God requires is for the heart to be so 'in tune' with what he is saying that we are prompted to act, convicted because of our actions, or realize the choice we are about to make is likely not the best one. We don't listen to our hearts alone because they are a bit fickle and self-centered. We allow God to 'speak into' our hearts through time in the Word and then we store those truths up for the moments when we need them down the road. Decisions will be required, but we will have 'stored up' the knowledge of how to respond by taking in his Word little by little each day.
There is no greater thing we can do than to explore the Word of God, embracing what we discover there. We may not always know how or when we will use the truth contained within, but we can be assured of this - every example set out, all the truths revealed within, and each 'exposure' of God's heart is a valuable asset. We only need to be open to discover it - he does the rest. Just sayin!
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