Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you. Proverbs 22:17-19 (NIV)
Apply Your Heart
Do you want to be wise? Yes, I want to be wise. Do you think that it is easy to be wise? Do you think that wisdom will just drop into your lap? Will wisdom require any effort on your part? I don’t think that wisdom comes easily. I don’t believe that wisdom will just drop into my lap. No, it won’t. What do you think will be required of you if you want to be wise? I think the first thing I must do is admit that I am not wise. I don’t know it all. I am liable to make some very unwise decisions if they are left up to me. How do you know that? I have already made a whole host of dumb mistakes and unwise decisions. I have already fallen flat on my face when I thought I was so very wise. Are you ready to admit that you aren’t wise and that you need wisdom? Yes, I am ready to admit that I need wisdom.
What do you think is your next step toward wisdom? After I have admitted that I am unwise and that I need wisdom I must wait for it. What do you mean by that? It’s easy to say I am unwise. It’s harder to back up my admission with action. What action? Waiting for wisdom is an action that says that I will no longer be relying on myself. It says that I will be relying on you. Relying on you is my next step toward wisdom. That will be a very good step.
What will be another step toward wisdom? As I am waiting and relying on you for wisdom, I must pay attention and apply my heart to all that you want to teach me. What do you mean by that? There is nothing particularly productive about simply waiting. Relying on you will require me to listen with all my heart and mind and strength. It will take great effort and focused attention to listen and apply my heart to all that you want to teach me. Yes, it will.
What will you do once you have heard from me if you want to be wise? Once I have heard from you I will put into practice all that you have taught me. It would be very foolish to wait to hear from you and then fail to do what you have taught me. Yes, that would be very foolish.
Is there anything that you want to tell me? Yes Lord, I am so thankful that you want to teach me. I welcome all your instruction. I will rely on all your teaching. I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m watching. I’m listening. I will pay attention and apply my heart fully to all that you have to say to me. I will put into practice all that you have to teach to me. Yes, you will.
Lord, here I am. I’m paying attention and applying my heart to your wisdom. Thank you for caring enough to teach even me your wisdom. I trust you and all you want to teach me. I will keep your wisdom in my heart on my lips so I can share it with others. Amen
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