Proverbs 19:20

ESV Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
NIV Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
NASB Listen to advice and accept discipline, So that you may be wise the rest of your days.
CSB Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.
NLT Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.
KJV Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

What does Proverbs 19:20 mean?

By divine design, the natural human body has one mouth but two ears. That correlates to practical, physical needs as part of biology. Yet it also provides a living parable: poetically suggesting that listening is twice as important as speaking. Solomon notes how paying attention to good advice (Proverbs 1:7–8; 8:32–36) leads to a wiser future. The allusion here is to moral correction and discipline (Proverbs 19:18–19).

This proverb also notes that it's important to "accept" learning from others. Simply hearing advice without acting on it is as useless as buying medicine and letting it sit unopened. Carefully considering correction and discipline and following through with actions prepares a person for the future. How one responds to adverse circumstances in later years of life shows whether they acquired wisdom during younger years. In his younger days, the apostle John leaned on Jesus' chest. He was a member of Jesus' inner circle of disciples (John 13:23; Luke 8:51; Mark 9:2). In John's old age, God used him to write five New Testament books: the gospel of John, First, Second, and Third John, and Revelation, in which his wisdom shines. He met persecution wisely when he was an old man, showing he had carefully listened to and heeded Jesus' teachings.
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