“Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach” (Proverbs 22:17).
Baltan Gracian (a 16th century Jesuit philosopher) wrote, “The wise does at once what the fool does at last.”
Experience is a good teacher. But experience is a costly and painful teacher. And, what’s more, personal experience is often not necessary to learn the lessons learned from pain.
There is much in life you don’t have to personally experience in order to learn the lessons from the pain of failure:
- A failed marriage
- A broken family
- A broken friendship
I pray you don’t have to ever personally experience any of these things.
There is much we don’t have to personally experience to learn the lessons from them. The wise learn, not only from their own pain and failures, but from the failures and pain of others. There are some failures we were never meant to experience. There are pains God never meant for us to personally experience.
Be wise. Learn from wisdom. Pay close attention to what wisdom has to teach you. Pay attention to what God is constantly teaching you through his word and through his truth.
How do you do that?
First, pay attention. Look carefully at the people around you. Particularly pay close attention to those who are pursuing God and his righteousness. And then, compare their lives to those who aren’t. Pay attention.
Second, turn your ear to the wise. Listen to those who are living the life you want to live. Give your ear to the wise.
Finally, apply lessons learned from the wise. You will save a lot of heartache for yourself and those you cherish.