“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5).
Willingness to listen is a sign of wisdom. Learning is a lifelong process. One of the first indications of a person’s wisdom is his willingness to listen.
Ignorance is not bliss; it can be deadly. God declared to ancient Israel, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee” (Hosea 4:5). “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good,” Solomon said (Proverb 19:2). As a young boy, Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially (Luke 2:52). James offer this counsel: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19).
The result of a wise person’s hearing is an increase in learning. This “hearing” goes beyond the perfunctory politeness of waiting until another person is finished speaking before one starts talking. It describes intense listening — listening so attentive that it results in grasping not only the words but also the underlying principles and even the spirit of the speaker.
We must make a genuine effort to break through the inertia of an undisciplined and inattentive mind.
Three times the Book of Proverbs indicates that wisdom is found in a “multitude of counsellers” (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6).