Listen to Instruction
What were the lessons that your parents tried to give you growing up? What nuggets of wisdom did they try to pass on to the next generation? Notice I say try. As children we don’t always listen. And when we don’t listen we tend to learn the hard way. There often comes a time when we say “huh, I guess my parents did know what they were talking about”. But who knows what heartaches we could have avoided if we had listened earlier? God knows. So did many of the wise fathers in scripture. One of them told his children: “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching” (Proverbs 4:1-2).
My prayer for parents everywhere is that they give their children “sound learning”. That is, may every parent teach their child the Word of God! And my prayer for children everywhere is that they listen to this sound learning. I personally see no point in learning lessons the hard way. I know some people feel they have to learn that way, and that they can’t learn any other way, but I don’t believe it. I believe we can learn to listen to and obey the Word of God BEFORE we break God’s law and make a mess of our lives. It just takes discipline.
We can’t do anything about the mistakes we have already made. But in the future I would encourage you to soak up wisdom. If someone is telling you good advice you should listen to them. You should wisely add to your learning. We get into so much trouble when we think we know better than everyone else. “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12). Have the humility to believe that someone else just might be saying something that’s useful to you. And if someone telling you a better way to live have the disciple to put that good way into practice. And then you will be wise. “Listen to advise and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20).