When I was growing up, I heard that phrase from all over … “Jimmy, listen to your elders.” I heard it at home from Dad and Mom. I heard it at church from Sunday School teachers and Pastors. I heard it in school from teachers (yes, I am so old that I remember when teachers tried to help build a moral compass in young hearts). I heard this statement everywhere I went, it seemed. I guess it sunk into my heart, because through this day, I try to listen to my elders. You will notice that I was not instructed to “agree with” my elders, but simply to give importance to what they said to me.
When I was eight years old, we moved into a house my Grandmother and her husband (my Grandfather had graduated to Heaven when my mother was twelve) had purchased. We moved in because her husband passed away, and my grandmother could not afford to pay the mortgage. We moved in to help her … but I believe God had other plans that we were not aware of at the time. I lived in the same house with this little lady that had survived the Great Depression, while raising eight children. She had served as a maid (house-cleaner, dish washer, seamstress, etc.) to a rich family in the area. She had survived the death of two husbands. Through all these things, she had remained a woman committed to the Word of God and to the God of the Word.
I remember sitting beside her bed, listening to her tell stories about our family. Interspersed throughout the stories were Bible principles that had worked and were now being handed down to me. The book of Proverbs says, “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto My knowledge” (Proverbs 22:17). When wise people are available to you – wise people being those who will share HIS knowledge with you – stop what you are doing and listen. Did you know that all the answers to life cannot be found on Google?
It is surprising what you will learn if you stop and sit and listen to those who have been through the battles of life and survived. Listening to those who have held firmly to the Word of God will help you to gain experience that you did not pay the price for. There is great wisdom in this verse, but, I am afraid, wisdom we are neglecting for the most part today. Find someone who has walked with God for some time, and get to know them. Listen to what interests them. Ask questions that are on your heart today and be quiet and listen to what they have to say. This is God’s plan for your education.