“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12 NIV)
The purpose of the book of Proverbs is to teach people how to live their life. The writings, mostly by Solomon, are meant to teach us what to do and not do. I read a chapter of Proverbs a day. Usually, from those words, I find the easiest verses to apply to my life. Their simplicity is easy to translate.
For me, I translate today’s verse as gain knowledge by listening to others. Everyone has something they can teach us. I’ve found, I never know who will teach me the most profound lessons. If we close our ears to what others have to say because we disagree with them, we will never learn.
Ask questions to gain wisdom.
Jesus asked questions. He engaged people in conversation:
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4:7 NIV)
Jesus knew this woman, but he wanted her to tell Him. He made an effort to engage with her. Often, we have to make an effort to talk to someone. Life is busy. People get caught up in their daily schedules. We’re navigating new routines because of COVID, but we’re still packing it in. My heart is praying fervently for students at all levels as they begin school. God help them all. Now is the time to reach out to that friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Check-in on them, see how they are doing.
Learning what is going on in the lives of our loved ones is wisdom. When we understand what challenges they are facing, we can help them find victory. If you know they lost their job because of COVID, you can be God’s hand and feet to them. Drop off dinner. Connect them to employment opportunities. Or just sit and listen. Gaining knowledge of what someone is going through gives us the chance to love them like Jesus would have us do.
But if we don’t engage. If we don’t gain wisdom by listening with open ears, we can’t apply our hearts. Everyone needs the love Jesus has to offer. If we don’t act like Jesus, some people will never know what love is.
People change the world because they gain wisdom about someone else’s circumstances. Blake Mykocski changed the world because he learned about children’s needs for shoes. He went on a trip to Argentina in 2006. After seeing the need for shoes, he started Toms shoe company. Each pair of shoes sold meant one pair donated to children. The company now gives ⅓ of its annual net profit away. During COVID, they’ve given $2 million to global relief efforts. Blake gained wisdom; then, he acted like Jesus.
Question of the Day:
How can you act like Jesus today?