Have you ever forgotten important information? Ever fallen asleep during church or during a lecture or meeting? Ever just “blank out” when you were supposed to remember something? I used to do that all the time when I was younger, and even now there are plenty of times when I fail to apply myself to listen to the important things in life.
In Proverbs 2, Solomon gives instruction about wisdom. He tells his son to get wisdom, search it out, treasure it, etc, etc. He says, if you receive what I have to say and do it, then you will have great reward. I noticed something in verse 2 that I had never seen before.
Verse 2 says, “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;” When your reading, you can easily skip over a verse like this. Honestly, it’s sortof reduntant, and all Solomon is saying is that you should listen up. But if you take the time to treasure the word of God, you are rewarded.
The interesting thing about this verse is that suggests that in order to listen and attend to the words of wisdom, you have to work, and you have to change. The word for “incline” actually carries the idea of sharpening. Sharpen your hearing abilities to hear wisdom. When you sharpen something, you can use it less and get a better result. Think about that, if you take the time to “work” on hearing, you won’t have to hear God’s wisdom fifty times before you “get it.” If you incline (sharpen) your ears, you can hear something less, and gain more.
Secondly, you must apply your heart to understanding. The word for “apply” also holds a gem for us. It means to stretch. Think about stretching, it’s not comfortable, most people don’t want to do it, and sometimes it hurts. But in the end, you can reach what you couldn’t before ( like maybe your toes), and you have more capabilities. Think, after you stretch, things that weren’t in reach, now are.
So I challenge you, make a decision today to sharpen your hearing when it comes to understanding. Make a decision to stretch your heart. If you do, you can learn more while hearing less, and reach higher levels of understanding that you couldn’t before. It might be work, and it might be uncomfortable, but you will be the better for it.
I am embarrassed to confess this, but I must. I was once asked, (after I had fallen asleep in church) if I could have managed to stay awake if I would be paid a million dollars to do so. I replied, “of course!” Then I was left with the uncomfortable realization that money was more important to me than God’s wisdom. This should never be true of myself, or any person. We can sharpen our hearing, and stretch our hearts, we simply must value the right things to do so.
Let’s ask God to help us value His wisdom.