The total package
The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces. (Proverbs 10:8)
How we embrace instruction tells a story that we may not always want to hear. The wise embrace it - maybe not with enthusiasm all the time, but with an integrity of heart that says they want to learn what God teaches, regardless of the cost. The fool will just babble about why it is 'too hard', 'not something he needs', or that there is 'some other answer' he must discover before he 'tries this one'. Oh, I hope none of us are like the fool who babbles on, but rather are like the wise who sit at the feet of Jesus and listen intently.
If we want to reject God's teachings, it is our prerogative. In turn, don't be surprised when the same lesson keeps coming around and around, maybe with a different presentation each time, but with the same 'heart intent'. God isn't going to let us just reject the lesson once and then say that is the way it will be. His grace keeps reaching out to help us 'soften' to the wisdom being taught. For many of us, lessons are caught and not taught. We find ourselves learning from others, not because they are smarter than us but because they may have taken hold of the lesson quicker than we did.
The fool babbles on - the wise gets quiet and listens. That may actually be a good way to judge how much we are willing to accept instruction from God. Do we listen first, or give an incessant ranting about why we don't think the lesson is meant for us? The fool may not see he is headed for a pretty big fall, but the wise will do everything they can to avoid any 'tripping points' in the path! If we take notice of the path before we take the journey, we may not choose that particular path. If we just amble along, expecting that all will be well, we could just find ourselves on a path that is way above our endurance!
My heart isn't always 'glad' to receive instruction - especially when it comes with correction. Part of instruction is correction. We need to know where we are 'making mistakes' so we can learn the 'right way' to live. While correction is not desired, it is definitely needed. The fool never gets to the point of accepting correction, much less admitting he needs it. The wise enter into all instruction with the knowledge that correction may just be part of the 'total package'. Just sayin!