An Open Ear + Good Advice =
A Wise Christian
"He is wise( it is a sign he is so, and he is likely to continue so) whose ear is always open to good advice." - Matthew Henry
The Scriptures admonish us in the Book of James to be "swift to hear" (James 1:19) or quick to listen. It is understood that we are to have a readiness - at all times and in every place - to receive instruction - instruction from God, that is.
We are to be more ready to hear than to speak. We should be disposed to learn from any source which God brings across our path. There should not be any one that we block out due to any past prejudices - based on race, color, gender, age, education, etc. Most likely, the source that we least expect will oftentimes be the one which the Lord will use to speak to us. We must be humble enough to receive His counsel from whomever He sends our way.
How about you, O Christian?
Are you "swift to hear"? Are you quick to listen?
Throughout the day, do you spend more time talking or listening to what others have to say?
Are you one that has to "have the preeminence" in every conversation? Or can you humble yourself enough to listen to what others are saying?
Do you have prejudices toward certain types of people which keep you from receiving any guidance or counsel from them? For instance, if you are a man, do you have problems receiving any kind of wisdom or knowledge from a woman?
The Scriptures outrightly teach us that we are to - first and foremost - listen to God. In John 6:45, the Lord Jesus told us - "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me."
No man, woman, boy, or girl is able to come to Jesus for salvation unless they initially are willing to hear what the Father has to say. Through the teachings of the Word and the Holy Spirit, men are drawn to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. But no one can come to God except they are willing to first hear what He has to say.
In order to be counted as one of His own, we must be willing to hear His voice - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). In fact, we cannot consider ourselves to be one of His followers if we are deaf to His calls. How extremely important it is that we hear His Word, submit to His guidance, obey His commands, follow in His footsteps, and conform to His pattern. None of this can happen if we are not "swift to hear" or more ready to listen than to speak.
God has no sheep who are "Know-it-alls."
You can be sure of that!
Listening makes us "wise" or more Christlike. Proverbs 19:20 says - "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end."
What exactly is the wisdom that is found in the "latter end"? It is our total conformity to the image of Christ Jesus. We will never be like Jesus if we refuse to sit at His feet and learn of Him!
Proverbs 12:15 tells us that it is the "wise" man who "hearkeneth unto counsel" - "...but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." On the other hand, it is the "fool" who refuses all instruction - "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes..."
What makes the wise man "wise"? What constitutes a "fool"? The distinction between the two lies in the ability to "hear" or listen.
The reason why the wise man is "wise" is because he is "swift to hear." He has a value for godly counsel. He is not too proud to admit that he needs help. Hence, he seeks advice from others.
The "fool," on the other hand, has an inflated sense of Self. You will find him doing all of the talking which is nothing but empty "jingle-jangle." He doesn't feel that he needs any guidance, instruction, or counsel from others. He is a rule unto himself. He does that which is "right in his own eyes."
It is imperative that we take a moment and make the statement that we, as Christians, must be more ready to hear from God - first and foremost - and not from man. Many, at the first sign of a problem, run to man for answers. This is wrong! Oftentimes, they end up in utter confusion as a result.
We must never forget that the Lord Jesus is the One and Only "Wonderful, Counsellor" (Isaiah 9:6). If He should use another to advise us, it must be at His leading.
Not everyone will give us wise counsel. We must be careful here!
The Scriptures tell us that it is the godly who "speaketh wisdom," "bringeth forth wisdom," or "disperse knowledge."
Psalm 37:30-31 says - "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."
Proverbs 10:31-32 says - "The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness."
Proverbs 15:7 adds - "The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so."
Proverbs 13:10 clearly states - "...with the well advised is wisdom." Who are the "well advised" that this verse is referring to?
They are the ones who are "righteous," "just," and "wise" simply because "the law of...God" is in their hearts, and they are living accordingly.
Anyone who does not spend time in God's Word and apply its principles to their daily walk has nothing to offer you and is not worth listening to. In fact, the "counsel" of such a one who knows no victory over sin, lives in compromise, or excuses sin in his life or that of another will bring detriment or harm to your soul. The Holy Spirit is not working through him for He does not work through "unclean vessels." Stay away from such a person and, by all means, reject his "counsel."
The "righteous" man is taught of God; therefore, his mouth "speaketh wisdom" - wise things. He avoids all foolish and corrupt communication and talks only of right and just things - "talketh judgment." Because "none of his steps...slide," he is a sure and "wise" guide for others to follow - in living everyday in holiness, purity, and uprightness of heart.
The "just" or "righteous" man can be likened unto a "good tree" that is full of sap. The "sap" is the "acceptable" Word of God hidden in his heart and the fruit would be the "wisdom" or "knowledge" that he "bringeth forth" or "disperses" for the benefit of all.
How important is it that we have an ear to hear God's instruction to us, or that we take the time to seek Him for wisdom in our everyday living?
Proverbs 15:22 tells us - "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established." So many times, "purposes are disappointed," plans fail, the end of a matter is never realized, and we end up emotionally crippled due to some devastating incident happening in our lives because we didn't take the time to seek God for His wisdom, guidance, and counsel.
It's so important that we are "swift to hear;" that we learn to listen - first to God and then to those whom He sends to us.
"My sheep hear My voice."
"My sheep" "hear counsel, and receive instruction" that they "mayest be wise" in their "latter end."
Are you constantly listening for God to speak to you?
Can you hear His voice talking to you this day?
What is He saying?
Are you "wise" enough to obey?
May God Bless His Word.