An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble. From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him. The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:13-18 (NIV)
I have a growth opportunity of that I am sure. What is your growth opportunity? As you know, I have often been strong willed and opinionated. I am also one of those that is energized by the heat of a good debate. There is no doubt about that. I have not developed great skills at listening. I am afraid that I have often sent off signals that I am not always ready and willing and able to receive and act on wise advice whether it comes from you or from some wise person you have brought into my life. I know one thing for certain. What’s that? A person who fails to listen to wise advice is a fool. A person who cannot receive or act on wise advice lives in constant danger. They live with warnings never received or acted on. They think foolish thoughts, speak foolish words and take foolish actions. They suffer the natural pain and suffering of thinking and speaking and acting foolishly. I don’t want that to be me. It won’t be you, trust Me. I have more to say. I’m listening. In the little more distant past, I have also been easily annoyed and unlikely to overlook an insult. Yes but, you have allowed me to work in you and through you so that now you are more likely to ignore and overlook an insult. I am thankful for all the progress you are making in me. That’s good. I am also thankful that I am still your work in progress. Yes, you are my work in progress. You will never stop molding and shaping me into the work of your hands. Yes, you are my masterpiece. I’m sure that you have a lot of work yet to do in me. That’s true, but don’t be impatience or discouraged, my hands are on you. My favor rests on you. I will make you able to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to me. It is hard to think of myself as your masterpiece. Try harder. I will. That’s good. So, I will make listening my goal. I will be listening well to you. I will be listening well to wise people you bring into my life. I will receive and act on all that you want me to hear and do. That will be very good.
Lord, I have not always listened well. I have been strong willed and opinionated. I have sent off strong signals that I have not been ready or willing or able receive and act on advice. Forgive me. I will listen attentively to any wise advice you want to give me. Amen
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