Learn To Listen
Proverbs 16 vs 20
“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”
I had never paid much attention to the concept of listening until I was sent a write-up on it. One of the most difficult things to do is to accept criticism and correction. To be told you are wrong is one of the hardest pills to swallow.
The default reaction to correction is to be defensive and in most cases, brush the issues aside because listening to what you don’t like to hear can be an uphill task.
It’s often easier to give advice and correction, but it’s very hard for the same pill to be prescribed back to you. Why do people find it difficult to listen and take instruction?
Saul was given explicit instructions on how to deal with the inhabitants of a land he was set to go to war with and overcome. He was told to kill everything but to not take any of the plunder. Instead, at the end of the battle he chose to disregard the words of the prophet and decided to keep the king he had defeated alive. Further disregarding the instruction, he chose to keep the spoils rather than destroy everything as had been instructed.
When Samuel arrived, he asked Saul why he had gone against the instructions, Saul looked for all sorts of excuses to defend himself. He ended up telling lies to justify his obedience and that resulted in the glory of the Lord departing from him and his kingdom was doomed. It would have been all the much easier had he just listened and taken the instruction he had been given.
We are all guilty of being given advice but we choose not to listen or to bluntly disregard it. Only when things go wrong do we look back and say to ourselves, I should have listened. The ability to receive instruction is in itself a gift that very few have been endowed with.
Imagine if only Saul had listened, his life would have taken a different turn. If only he had been able to conquer his ego, humble himself and accept instruction, his story would have turned out a lot better than what ended up happening.
How many times have you blatantly refused to listen to well-meaning advice that is meant to help you and you decided to disregard it and do things your own way? How many bridges have you had to try and repair all in a bid to undo things you could have otherwise avoided? Mopping up spilt milk is a lot more difficult than to just avoid spilling from the onset.
Make a conscious effort this week to listen a lot more and to graciously accept criticism, reproof and correction. The ability to have a spirit that receives can only be something the Lord can grant you. Ask Him to grant you the wisdom to listen, to hear and to do the right thing.
Your ability to succeed in the future is solely dependent on your ability to listen, to take instruction and to work at being the best you that you can possibly be. Be blessed
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