Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
There are a lot of smart people in the world with advanced degrees, in-depth knowledge, expansive vocabularies, industry expertise, large media platforms, and plenty of notoriety…but will they be counted among the wise? For the Christian, worldly knowledge can be a powerful tool, but without the wisdom that can only be obtained through the fear of God (Pr. 1:7) and the understanding of His Word (1 Cor. 1:24), God will not number you “among the wise.”
Plenty of people are willing to give advice – sometimes without being asked for it – but is that advice bathed in the Word of God? Do you seek the advice of the godliest people you know, or do you tune in to Dr. Phil and Oprah in search of help? Do you look for answers in the Word of God or listening to sermons or reading the works of great Christian thinkers or do you tend to listen to the Big Talkers on the radio or the most popular celebrities on social media? Advice is only as good as it is rooted in the truth of God’s Word, no matter how much it may tickle your ears.
Most of us struggle with being corrected. Our pride is bruised and our fragile ego is exposed but when that discipline flows from the wisdom of God – if we choose to listen and act upon it – our wisdom grows as does our effectiveness in virtually every sphere of life. Additionally, it helps to enlist the help of your godly friends by giving them permission to speak into your life, especially when they see you headed in the wrong direction (Pr. 27:6).
A Christian blogger by the name of Fred Williamson ends his thoughts on this proverb well when he writes, “I would regard the person who picks up your trash but hears and reads God’s words as much wiser than a college professor who may have degrees and many years of worldly learning behind him…but will not hear God.” Which type of person are you?