Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Proverbs 19:20

When was the last time you heard someone tell you, “You think you know everything”? On the other hand, maybe you have offered those words to another (or said them about someone else in secret). In either case, usually, those words are not meant to flatter or encourage. Instead, they are typically offered as a pejorative, designed to insult or bluntly correct someone who behaves like they know it all. 

Yet, we live in a world filled with many people who think they know everything. No, they would never admit it, and if pressed, they would readily admit they don’t because it would be utterly stupid for anyone to say it with conviction as it is patently false. No one knows everything. Every one of us has much to learn in this life. Yet, some people behave as though they know it all. They do not listen to instructions, and they do not listen to others who have walked the same road they are walking. Most people learn from others by words or examples (usually both). Parents teach their children many things without uttering a single word. Employers instruct their employees on how to accomplish a specific task. Pastors teach the people the oracles of the faith through formal times of learning and the preaching of God’s Word. I suspect it has always been this way.

Only a fool would not listen to the words of others who know more about a particular subject, and only a fool would not follow the example of learned, godly people. Solomon tells us why this is valuable: that we may store up wisdom for the future. Life, though brief, is also long. It is a much longer and more difficult road when we do not heed the counsel of wiser people. Do you listen? Do you heed the instruction and counsel of others in your life? If not, then you think you know it all. Your road will be full of painful learning. Better is to listen carefully, emulate others who fear the Lord, and spare yourself the agony of learning the hard way. 

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