I don't know how often I've heard or read good teaching. Or have shared it myself. But then really did not take to heart, at least not sufficiently, the counsel, for my own life. This can be with reference to teaching from Scripture. Or the counsel of one's friend, who is a person of God and prayed about a matter before giving their judgment regarding it.
There is nothing wrong with knowledge for knowledge's sake. It is good to know a variety of things, as this can help us better understand the whole of the story of our world, and of our Father's world. This is why I think it is good to have a liberal arts education before one goes to seminary, or serves the Lord in any other capacity in life. Or we can educate ourselves in a variety of ways: spending time at a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, or at our public library. Listening to NPR. Etcetera. While staying in Scripture; doing all of this from a posture, and as people of faith.
But we will inevitably be brought back to the question: "How should we then live?" And we must be listening. And taking to heart the good that we hear given to us. This means considering it carefully, in light of Scripture and of life. Praying about it. And seeking God and his will for us, with reference to it.
Yesterday I found a letter from a pastor that had given me counsel. It had impacted me at the time. But its impact could have, and I now see should have had a bigger impact for me, than what first met the eye. I just tucked it away somewhere. But failed to consider it, and its implications further. Now I need to do that, being in prayer, in the Word/Scripture, and in the community of faith.
The amazing thing is that in so doing, in listening to godly teaching and counsel, and maybe at times from some unexpected sources/people and at unexpected times, we may very well be hearing the voice of God to us. Do we really believe that? Then let me/us listen and take this possibility to heart. Amen.