“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
Every child or college student looks forward to when school is out of session. Summertime comes, and they get relief from the studies they have worked hard on for several months. Then comes the fall time of the year when school goes back into session, and the students are a bit excited to get back to the routine of learning because learning is exciting. Learning is exciting because you are acquiring the knowledge you have never known before.
One of the greatest lessons I learned while in college was that everyone and everything is your teacher. I was taught that every person has something they can teach you. Likewise, every situation in life is a lesson to learn. My teachers taught me that life is a class, and you should learn from every person and situation in life as to what you should and should not do.
This is exactly what the verse above is teaching. God says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father…” The keyword to learning the instruction is to “hear.” You can’t gain the knowledge of others if you don’t hear what they are teaching you. However, to hear the instruction is more than listening, even though listening is part of hearing. Hearing means to perceive, listen to, learn, gather, be aware, give a ruling on their life. In other words, most “hearing” has to do with perception more than it does with listening. Let me share several ways you can hear instruction.
First, you can hear instruction by listening. I know this is the obvious, but when someone is trying to teach you, you have to be listening instead of daydreaming. You cannot learn from what you are listening to if your mind is not attentive as well. You need to keep your mind focused on what you are hearing if you are going to get the instruction to what you are hearing. In other words, it takes self-discipline to hear instruction. If you are not disciplined enough to control your mind to listen to what your ears are hearing, you will miss the vital instruction that could help you in life.
Second, you hear instruction by watching. You can learn a lot by watching how people do things. You can’t watch how people do things if you are not there when they are doing them. You will learn much instruction by being at the place where life applies the lessons. Most of life’s lessons come from the application of knowledge. You will never learn what to do in life if all you do is hear instruction without applying it.
Third, you hear instruction by studying history. Don’t study history to critique those who have gone before, but study history to learn what to do and some things that you should not do. History is a great teacher if you have the character to learn from it without trying to rewrite it or destroy it.
My friend, hearing is the requirement of the individual, not the teacher. The teacher can only teach, but you must be willing to hear. The teacher can teach the lesson, show you the lesson through application, but you must be willing to hear it or see it when it is taught.
Moreover, hearing requires you to be silent. You cannot learn if you are always talking. The greatest learners in life are those who learn from staying silent so they can hear the instruction of what life’s teachers are teaching. School is always in session. What you do with its lessons will determine what your life will become.