at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Adding to My Learning

Going back to the theme of this blog, you might guess that this is a proverb of importance to me. I understand the importance of learning and I have a strong drive to always be learning something new. But there's a part of this verse that has always been very hard for me. See below with my added emphasis:

"Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still. Teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning." --Proverbs 9:9

What this verse is talking about is not someone going out on his own to add to his learning; this is about someone coming up to you and giving you instruction, teaching, correction, advice, etc. Me wanting to learn something is way different than somebody else wanting to instruct me in something.

Looking back on my life, I find that I've often had an attitude of "I know what's best" or an "I don't need your advice". Whoa. What happened to my love for learning? There's something in me that can get defensive when someone tries to offer helpful advice or instruction on how to do something better. It's as if I take as them saying that I don't know what I'm doing or that I'm doing something wrong (though I may very well be!). Not to mention actual critiques which may be meant to simply help me better myself by learning to avoid certain errors in the future.

Now there may be an occasion where someone corrects or instructs out of a bad motive, but I think more often than not, people are just trying to be helpful by offering up wisdom from their own experiences and observations.  And I can either choose to learn from them or not. In those moments, I'm often lacking the humility to simply say, "this person has something valuable to offer me." My pride gets the best of me and I lose out on an opportunity to learn to do something better or to become a better person because I want to believe that I already have it all figured out. But the wise person takes that instruction and soaks in what others have to teach them. They add to their learning and wisdom through the words, instructions and experiences of others.

There is humility in the wise person, and there is wisdom in humility. I don't have it all figured out. And, even the things I'm good at have room for improvement. My challenge is to open my heart to receive wise teaching and instruction from other people, with an attitude of gratefulness.


For my 31st birthday, I decided to write down 31 of my favorite proverbs, or wise sayings from the Bible that I had been studying.  This year, I am hoping to take a deeper dive into each of them and share some thoughts on them with you here.

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!