Listening and Doing
My child, listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
The familiar refrain throughout Proverbs is “Listen, my child….” Solomon allows us to witness a father’s loving exhortation to his children. These are tender instructions that, if obeyed, lead to good consequences. If they are not heeded, and if bad decisions are made, there are unfortunate ends. These directions work on multiple levels. That is, there is a continuum from the simple command to the nuances of choice. Full understanding, however, is not required for obedience.
Solomon’s God affirms that his children who listen to counsel and carry out his teaching will acquire wisdom. The tough words are ever motivated by the loving father. There is the sense that this advice and correction are necessary for the most success and spiritual growth. God has the words of eternal life. These words are to be accepted gratefully and applied appropriately. Obedience to this counsel allows for an ongoing relationship and open communication with the Father.
Which of your parents’ instructions still echo in your head? How important is obedience to the functioning of your family? To what life principles do you adhere? How good are you at “listening and doing?”