Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.
Proverbs 19:20 (ESV)
It’s hard to listen to critics. Being critical toward someone or receiving the criticism can seem judgmental. Sometimes its hard not to take it personally or not to get upset by it. But what if it’s good advice? How would we accept it, so we could apply it to our lives? That’s what this proverb is getting at.
This proverb is calling for us to be more teachable. We have to learn how to accept advice, especially ones that can benefit our lives. Being willing to change something about ourselves for the better can lead to a much better outcome in our near future. It is better to take instruction then never gain wisdom from others. We are born without wisdom because of sin. We don’t know everything once we come into this world. We gain wisdom as we get older. However, the only way to do that is to receive instruction from others who give godly counsel.
It’s tough being brutally honest with someone. It’s even tougher to receive the brutal honesty from a close friend who’s holding you accountable. The truth hurts. Then the pain goes away and it convicts us to be better than who we were before. Knowing that, we should desire counsel from those who give godly advice. Applying what we have learned over the years will help us be more wise. As we grow in stature and get older, we must improve our wisdom rather than the other way around. Only then will we truly please God in our words and actions.
God loves us and wants the best for us. Sometimes we don’t like His advice, because that means we have to change certain aspects of our lives. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us for who we are. It means He loves us so much, He wants us to be a better version of ourselves every day. That will make us feel better about who we are and in turn, feel better about the God we serve and our identity in Christ.
This week, pray about how you can receive godly wisdom and apply it to your own life. Seek out some friends who you know will benefit your lifestyle and keep you on the right path.