Beth Parkinson

Creative Media Assistant

CBN Europe

Proverbs 23 is full of wisdom – no surprise there in a book of wisdom! But there’s something that struck my heart as I read it, the number of calls to action from a parent to their child. And not just specific instructions about one action or another – they’re communicating an attitude, a character trait.  

Verse 12 says:
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”   

And then verses 15 and 16 say:
“My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.” 

You may have heard it said, or even said to yourself, “What’s happened these days to ‘common sense’? It doesn’t seem very common anymore!” Maybe these verses touch on that?  

We can get caught up learning facts and figures, we can climb the rungs of education, progressing higher and higher in our knowledge, but there will always be more for us to learn. But when we open our hearts to do the learning, rather than just our minds, the learning goes beyond individual lessons and facts. 

Verse 12 says:
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”    

Instead, we learn character, we learn principles and eternal truths that will then guide our actions and our days as we navigate everything the world has to throw at us. Those things that can feel like ‘common sense’, but in fact, the fruit of seeking wisdom. 

As a parent, I can echo what the writer is wishing for his children here – I would rather that they learn with their hearts and listen to who Jesus is calling them to be, than just endlessly learning this and that by wrote. Because living in the overflow of a godly character will see you walk in wisdom. It will see you listening to the right advice, keeping in step with the friends that will encourage and support you, rather than lead you towards ungodly behaviour.  

And as a child that’s all grown up and living independently from my parents, I look back and see why childhood lying was a big deal, a big no-no. If they could teach me the value of honesty and integrity as a child, my parents knew it would set me on the right course as an adult. They were creating an accurate compass in me. So now, as I navigate seas by myself, I can do it safely, assuredly.  

Apply your heart to these verses today – ask God to highlight the principles He’s wanting to teach you

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