Listen, my son. (Prov. 1:8)

I’VE FLOWN IN airplanes since I was a toddler. It’s routine to me. So, I confess, that when the safety instructions are given, I pay little attention. On my most recent flight, however, from San Antonio to Denver, turbulence shook the plane. Suddenly the safety instructions held more significance. If we lost altitude, would I know how to use the oxygen mask? If the emergency exit needed opening, did I recall how to perform the act? In the earlier instructions of the flight crew lay the comfort of safety and potential rescue. I should have been listening.

Solomon’s instructions in Proverbs 1 begin with an admonition to listen. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning,” verse 5 states. He also specifically referenced a mother and father’s instructions. But wise words come from many sources. We hear them from our peers, the younger generation, and our mentors and teachers. What we do with the words we hear determines the course of our lives.

In verse 10, Solomon gave the example of a young man who needed wisdom to resist ungodly peer pressure, but we face varied challenges. It may be an ethical job choice, a hard relationship, or a financial decision. Obtaining wise counsel before acting safeguards us. Cultivate the art of listening. It leads to life.

Identify whose wise counsel you should seek when next you face tough decisions.

Kathleen Dunlap lives in Colorado with her husband and Great Dane mix. For fourteen years, she worked in missions in Germany. She enjoys reading and running.