“A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,” Proverbs 1:5
Wisdom is often associated with old age. However, one doesn’t have to be old to be wise. Nor does one have to be young to be foolish. In Solomon’s introduction to Proverbs, he describes the wise as those who listen and learn. Wise people become even wiser by listening to the sayings in Proverbs, and by learning from their guidance (1:5).
Proverbs is pretty clear in its connection between wisdom and listening. A wise person listens to advice and instruction (8:33, 9:8-9, 10:8, 12:15, 19:20); as well as to correction and rebuke (13:1, 15:31, 19:25). The key, however, is to learn from what is said. Walking in wisdom is a process of life-long learning.
Today’s verse also says we can “acquire wise counsel” by reading the book of Proverbs with understanding. Again, Proverbs clearly connects wisdom with seeking counsel (11:14, 13:10, 15:22). So, when it comes to listening to advice and instruction, Proverbs guides the wise to associate with other wise people. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Listening to and learning from the foolish is a road to heartache. That’s why it’s vital to practice discernment in our relationships. You see, godly wisdom is always hungry for godly truth and looks to acquire it from godly sources. Since God’s Word is the most reliable source for wisdom, we should build friendships with people who read and apply it. This requires awareness. Wise people don’t have to tell anyone they are wise. It’s on display in the choices they make and the words they speak.
So, do the people in your life encourage building your faith or compromising it? Do you have at least one godly friendship where biblical wisdom and correction can be offered, as well as received? Living in wisdom is the result of understanding and applying biblical truth. Jesus often closed His teachings by saying, “He who has ears, let them hear.” Are your ears tuned to God’s sources of truth? If you want to know and walk in wisdom, then you must be willing to listen and learn.