Currently, in my Bible plan, I am reading Proverbs, that book of immense wisdom. If it's not a regular habit for yourself (and for any children you may have), I highly recommend visiting and re-visiting this book for godly living.
Just in the first ten chapters is the constant refrain for sons to keep their fathers' commands and hold fast to the teachings of their mothers. Over and over again, whether we are sons or daughters, we learn that listening to others--especially those with experience and authority-- is part of gaining wisdom.
Receive my words...
give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser...
pay attention to my wisdom...
do not despise correction...
How many times in the course of a day do others give us their opinions, recommendations, and suggestions? How do you respond? Is there a softness that considers what is being said? Or do you put up a fight and dish out criticism (perhaps the best come-backs are carefully scripted and maintained in the privacy of your mind)? Certainly we must discern others' instructions and ideas, but I'm inquiring about the overall state of your heart.
Can you relate to this little girl and her defiance? There is an obvious wrestling between this child and her authority. I'll bet most of you don't act like this when your boss does something you don't like or when you don't get your way with someone. We're grown-ups now, right? We have far more sophisticated ways of rejecting others' ideas.
God continually challenges me to surrender myself to Him. He doesn't want me holding back anything. But, often as I hear His word, I have better ideas. I give Him excuses. There are times I conform on the outside, but stand as defiantly as this little girl on the inside.
How might you be resisting God?
As God calls me to trust Him with my children's future, am I standing arms-crossed, lips-pouted, eyes-furrowed? Or is His peace passing all understanding so that my mind and heart are guarded through Jesus Christ?
As God calls me to proclaim His name and His ways boldly in a culture that increasingly rejects Him, am I compromising the truth of God's word or am I believing He will sustain me in opposition?
As God uses people to speak hard words to me, do I respond with defiant anger and justifications or do I consider truth that must have been difficult to say as well as hear?
Proverbs calls us to treasure instruction and receive wisdom but this can only truly be done when we are humble. Humility is evidence of a softened heart. And wisdom walks hand-in-hand with the humble.