I’m one of those people who hates math. I don’t understand it, I don’t enjoy it, and I try not to do it.

In high school, though, this lifetime resolve to avoid numbers began to conflict with my equally-fervent desire to have straight A's on my transcript. My years of determinedly ignoring the multiplication tables turned into many late nights of quadratic equations. For the first time, I began to listen in math class.

Proverbs is noted as being a book full of wisdom, and this verse — one of the very first verses in the book — gives an important admonition as to how we should approach the book of Proverbs: with a heart that is open to listen and learn. Proverbs talks a lot about “fools,” and it’s probably a safe bet that a fool is not someone who is ready to listen. Fools think they can do everything on their own ― no guidance necessary.

It’s been said that knowledge is “knowing a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad.” By this same token, we need to take the knowledge we have gained from listening to Proverbs and put that knowledge into practice. That’s when it becomes wisdom. Listening in math class, listening to our elders, and most importantly listening to God — these things help us serve Him better and succeed in life.

Don’t be a fool. Listen to God. I give you full permission, though, to skip the quadratic equations. You’ll never use them again.

Lord, help me open my heart and listen to your teachings. Help me also to apply those teachings as I go about my day. Amen.

Go Deeper — Remember the children’s game Simon Says? Grab the kids in your life and play a few rounds. It’s silly, but fun, and can reinforce the concept of listening well.

Tags: Listen Proverbs 15
Photo Credit: Lukas Budimaier