Little toddlers are becoming independent little people and they will often struggle trying to accomplish a task and do it the hard way. Have you ever tried to step in and show them an easier way? Their response is often,
“No, I do it!”
and they push away the very counsel that could make their task easier.
Toddlers aren’t the only ones who push away help. Often when we are making our way through our Christian life, a pastor stands to preach, or a teacher gives God’s Word in a Bible study, or a friend pulls us aside to speak Truth to us, and we become stiff and resentful instead of teachable. We like others to think that we’re just fine. We don’t think we need someone to tell us what to do, or how to live!
Are you like that? I must confess that I’ve fought with this very kind of spirit over the years. How about a little check-up to see if we’re teachable or not?
When you hear Truth given by a wise, godly person, whether it’s one-on-one or in a group setting, do you…
- Turn a deaf ear? – Proverbs 13:1 a scorner heareth not rebuke.
- Hate the instruction itself? – Proverbs 5:12 – And you say, “How I have hated instruction and my heart spurned reproof.”
- Hate the one giving it? Proverbs 9:8 – Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you.
- Think about how you’re going to defend yourself while the other person is speaking? Proverebs 18:13 – He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
- Stiffen up when you hear it? Proverbs 29:1 – He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
If these traits are true of us, here is the sad result…
- Destruction – Proverbs 29:1
- Punishment and Death – Proverbs 15:10 – This doesn’t necessarily mean physical death, but it could bring that or spiritual death, death to relationships, death to fruitfulness, etc.
- Broken fellowship with God – Proverbs 1:24, 25
- Unanswered prayer – Psalm 66:18
If we continue in sin after we’ve been admonished, we can be sure we are headed for destruction.
The flip side of all this is that there are wonderful blessings from heeding Godly counsel:
- Increase in learning – Proverbs 1:5
- There is safety – Proverbs 11:14
- Wisdom – Proberbs 12:15, 13:10, 19:20
- Happiness – Proverbs 3:13
- Gained a friend – Proverbs 27:6
- Gained precious treasure – Proverbs 20:15
- Deliverance – Proberbs 28:26
If we want to be wise, we’ll all lean in, and not away from the one who desires to instruct us in godly wisdom. Pride is the culprit that whispers in our ear, “You don’t have to listen to THAT!” Rather than being like an unteachable youngster, let’s keep a humble, mature heart that listens and then responds. Even if you don’t think the person is on target about what they’re saying, listen, and then talk to God about it. He will always give the right counsel!
When is it most difficult to receive godly counsel?