SERIES: Wisdom from Proverbs

TEXT: Proverbs 15:31-33

MESSAGE: “A Teachable Life”


Q: How teachable are you?

“Thus, though this result may not hold for every psychologist and every type of decision, it can clearly be concluded that a psychologist’s increasing feelings of confidence as he works through a case are not a sure sign of increasing accuracy for his conclusions. So called clinical validation, based on the personal feelings of confidence of the clinician, is not adequate evidence for the validity of clinical judgment in diagnosing or predicting human behavior.” — Stuart Oskamp

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” — Proverbs 12:15

Q: How teachable are you?

TEXT: Proverbs 15:31-33

QUESTION: What does a teachable life look like?

A teachable life is about…(1. Surrounding 2. Seeking 3. Surrendering)

  1. Surrounding (v. 31)

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” — Proverbs 27:5-6

“We are not naturally wise or good at heart, but we think we are, and we head off toward destruction. Therefore, whether or not we can listen to and submit to wise counsel is a life or death matter. So if you want to be a fool and wreck your life, it starts with not listening.” — Daniel & Jonathan Akin

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” 

— Proverbs 15:22

2. Seeking (v. 32)

“Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

“Only the wise are willing to admit mistakes, change behavior, and improve their lives.” — Trempor Longman

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” — Proverbs 12:15

3. Surrendering (v. 33)

‘The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.’

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”

— Proverbs 3:7

“It is God who corrects us; we don’t correct Him. We do not stand over God but under Him.”  R.C. Sproul

“Paradoxically, the one who grants himself no glory before the glorious God in the end is crowned with the glory and wealth…” — Bruce Waltke


Listen well

“The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him.” 

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Seek wise counsel

  • “One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts.”  C.S. Lewis (Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

Learn to be reasonable

“We show ourselves to be people of reason only when we listen to advice and when we constantly test ourselves of prejudice. Ancient people were steeped in prejudice — stereotypes about other classes, and cultures — while modern people think of themselves as very open-minded. But no one is objective…no one becomes wise unless they allow these beliefs to be examined, challenged supremely by God’s Word but also by teachers, colleagues, family members, and friends. If you always know best, you are stupid.” — Timothy Keller

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” 

— Proverbs 8:17