Proverbs 1:5 Dissected and Defined
“A wise (skillful) man will hear (to listen; to obey), and will increase learning (grow in knowledge); and a man of understanding (applied information) shall attain unto wise counsels:”
I have spent many years of my life watching listeners. As a preacher to churched people and a teacher to unchurched people, I am always amazed at the types of listeners I meet.
Some listen and take notes; they are intent on learning. Some listen for something interesting but are filtering everything else as they anticipate the next joke or catchy quote. Others listen to the needs of others like their children, their spouse, or some church member they have ought against. Others, when I speak, might look around. Once, a girl manicured her nails while I preached!
The type that bothers me the most are those whose eyes wander as I talk to them. I call them “wanderers” I used to be this type of person until I met people who did this while I was speaking to them! It was very disconcerting.
Now, may I point out that there are no particular similarities in the backgrounds of “wanderers.” I have met them young and old, rich and poor. I have met wanderers who are addicts and those who are not. I have met wanderers who are church members and wanderers who are pastors. It just seems that some people’s eyes wander while someone is speaking to them.
Of course, we know this type of person cannot possibly be listening very well. They may catch part of what is being said in a conversation, class, or church service; but chances are they won’t hear enough to amount to much. They are poor listeners.
Skillful People Listen
Solomon indicates that skillful people hear. They listen. It takes skill, and it takes practice. Once we begin to actually listen to what is being said, we will find ourselves obeying it and increasing our learning.
The difference this will make in our life will lead you to be a better listener. You’ll search out wise counsel, listen to it, and follow it! You will become a man who applies information. You will attain understanding!