Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)
It’s one of the more frustrating things of parenting. (And pastoring for that matter.) You can see the path that your child is heading down, and you, after years of experience and wisdom gained, know that it will lead to hurt, anger, sorrow, pain, grief, and even some therapy sessions down the road. So, you have a sit down with your precious one and fill them in on what pitfalls await them. They seem to connect with your message. They appreciate the wisdom shared. They even agree that their decisions are foolish and that they need to follow the nugget of knowledge that you’ve given them. Then, perhaps an entire 30 seconds later, they are back making the same foolish decisions! SMH. (For those not familiar with the newfangled acronyms of text messaging, SMH stands for Shake My Head.)
Yet, as I look back at my years on this planet, I can say that I’ve been that child, that teen, that adult as well. I receive wisdom from others who’ve been there, done that, yet I think that I am somehow smarter and wiser than they are. Nearly every time, I prove myself wrong.
So, here we have Solomon, which the Bible states was blessed by God with extraordinary wisdom, giving us this gem: “Listen to others.”
One could say that it’s fairly ironic that a man endowed with super wisdom would tell us that even he needed to listen to the counsel of others. Why? There are a lot of different reasons, but I think that a major one is that we all approach life, and have experienced life, in very unique ways. The life I have lived is like no other person’s life. It is a one-of-a-kind. Therefore, I will have wisdom in certain areas of life that no one else could possibly have.
Here’s the other thing. God actually wants us to have relationships with other people in the family of God. I know, it’s crazy! God puts people in our lives that can help direct us, mold us, shape us, teach us, and support us. God has given them wisdom in areas of life that can complement our own.
So, here’s my challenge. Don’t think that your way is always the best. Pray that God will put people in your life that will use the wisdom God has blessed them with to help you in your journey. When He identifies those people it’s quite simple: Listen to them.