If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor. Proverbs 15:31-33 (NLT)
Will You Listen?
Will you listen? Will I listen to who? Will I listen to what? Those are two very good questions. Let me ask you two more questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Who would you be unwilling to listen to? What would you be unwilling to hear? Those seem like harder questions. Why is that? I might start off by saying that I am willing to listen to anyone and everyone. I might also continue to say that there is nothing that I would be unwilling to hear. But those statements might not be true. You’ve noticed? Yes, I have noticed. I suppose that there are some people that don’t have my ear. Yes, there are people that I have been unwilling to listen to. What else? I have not always been willing to hear and receive and accept what others have had to say to me. Like what? I have not always accepted constructive criticism or what you might call a “life giving” rebuke. Has that been wise? What has sometimes happened to you because you failed to hear constructive criticism or a “life giving” rebuke? What have been the consequences of failing to listen to those who have had something important to say to you? I have suffered some pain and suffering and loss because I have pridefully and foolishly rejected wise counsel from others. So, you are willing to admit that wisdom often comes to you as constructive criticism or a “life giving” rebuke? Yes, I am. So, are you now much more willing to listen and hear what others have to say to you? Yes, I am. That’s good. I will tell you a little secret. What’s that? You can’t be a prideful and foolish and stubborn in your listening to others and be a wise listener to me. What will prevent you from receiving wisdom from others will prevent you from receiving wisdom from me. I’m starting to get that. I am beginning to understand. I will tell you another little secret. What’s that? I will often send people your way to speak into your life so that you can receive wisdom from me. So, be ready and willing and able to hear and receive and accept what others have to say to you. In pridefully and foolishly rejecting constructive criticism or a “life giving” rebuke from others, you may be rejecting an important word from me. So, I will ask you again, “Will you listen?” Yes Lord, I will listen attentively to you and to others you bring into my life. That will be very good.
Lord, I will humbly accept constructive criticism. I will also welcome your corrective discipline in my life. I will not be proud. I will not be stubborn. I will walk in humble awe of you throughout my life. Teach me your wisdom. Give me understanding. Lead my life. Amen
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