Heeding Instruction is Difficult

To heed instruction is rather difficult at times.  When we are little we want to please our parents and follow their advice, but we have an innate rebellious side to contend with.  Face it; we can be stubborn when we need to.  It is hard to accept discipline in whatever form it is issued, but it is necessary to do so in order to grow and prosper.

 

When I was little I would push the envelope and play one parent against the other.  I wanted to get my way, but thankfully my parents were wise to my feeble attempts and stood firm in the disciplinary area.  I grew up knowing what is right and what is wrong and learning to discern between the two.  I also learned from their instruction how to manage through life.  I said, I learned this from them, but I did not say I always followed their sage advice.  I made mistakes…painful ones and I had to accept the consequences of those mistakes.

 

As a young adult I became a little too set in my ways and yes, my stubbornness stood out.  It was not something to be proud of, but rather a trait I needed to address and correct.  Reflecting back, it took many years for me to learn how to change and it was very difficult for me to accept I had to reach out to others for help and advice.

 

We grow up in a society in which we are told to handle everything ourselves and that we must “man up” or “woman up” and just deal with it.  We hide our feelings deep down inside to follow this creed, but we are not doing ourselves any favor.  In fact, we are causing more damage in our lives.  People offer to help us and try to do so, but we refuse to listen or rather we tune them out. This causes the lines of communication to become so thin that all it takes is one wrong move and they breakdown completely.

 

Well I have broken quite a few lines in my time due to my failure to heed instruction.  I am not a “know it all” personality, but I have played one a time or two in my past.  I also knew how to act defiant from time to time when others tried to subtly warn me to go another direction. I was not willing to admit that I did not have all of the answers or that my way was incorrect.  I chose to be defiant, question the source and defend my point of view.  I reacted and ignited a flame unnecessarily when I should have given that person a chance to explain.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we think we have all of the answers?  Must I always fall flat on my face before I realize that I really don’t know much at all?

 

Proverbs 11:14 tells us that without guidance and the advice of many advisors, people fall and plans fail.  I am a good example of that.  So what is the solution?  I suggest that I take a step back, look at all points of view, and from that make my determination.  Hear others out and listen to other perspectives.  What does the adage state that two heads are better than one?  I do not have all of the answers and from time to time I need to rely on the advice and instruction of others.  It is prudent to do so and only good can come from it.

 

So I swallow my pride, set aside my fears and my willingness to quickly become defiant, and listen.  Really listen to what is being said and offered.  I need to clear my mind of quick retorts or arguments to propose to defend my so-called reasoning, and just listen to what someone else is suggesting.

 

I had a good friend with great insight; make a recent suggestion about a project I am working on.  My first inclination was to say “just one minute this is my material and I know what I am trying to say”, but then I squelched that little voice that wanted to resist the suggestion just because I was taken aback at first.  I then thought about it, explored that option and came to the conclusion that the advice given me was for my benefit and it only strengthened me.  I took the advice and tried to make the changes needed.  Whether or not, I made the correct changes will remain to be seen when that person replies.  I have decided that if more changes are needed, then so be it.  I need to be flexible and able to work with others.  We can all be on the same team if we let ourselves learn to work together and for one another.  However, the important point to all of this is I took a new direction and made the best choice for me.  I had to let go of my desires and listen to what needed to be done.

 

We all need to heed instruction from time to time and learn from one another.  We need to put thought into our decisions and actions and not react in haste.  Change isn’t easy and sometimes it removes you from your comfort zone, but it is necessary in order to move ahead in life.  Don’t rely only on yourself and your supposed knowledge database.  We all can learn from someone else and no one is a “know it all”.  That person who believes they are is only wearing a fool’s disguise.  Fools cannot see past themselves and their folly.  They cannot accept advice from others.  Wisdom eludes them because of this.  Proverbs also states that to attain wisdom is to gain knowledge and understanding.  These are not attributes one is born with, they have to be acquired and that my friend only comes from one person to another.  I seek wisdom not from a false sense of what I think I know, but from what I have learned from others in the process.

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