20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Two essential factors on the path of wisdom are attitude and timing. While the qualities we inherit are beyond our control, these are equally accessible to all. A person may have every advantage, but the wrong attitude will render him fruitless. Advice and discipline may not be pleasant, but they are opportunities to grow – don’t let them go to waste. Timing is just as important as attitude. Some things ought to be done at once, while others require patience. Is there someone you ought to reconcile with? The sooner you do it the better! If it is honor you desire, to “be counted among the wise,” do not get ahead of yourself in haste.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” It is quite unusual for the Lord to accomplish things in the way we expect. At the age of seventeen, Joseph dreamed that his family would some day bow down to him (Genesis 37). But this did not come to pass according to Joseph’s plans, but the Lord’s. The same can be said of David, who was anointed king in his youth but did not take the throne until the age of thirty, after years of being hunted by Saul. Both had the chance to take matters into their own hands, and both refused. Do not be discouraged when your own plans fail, you may be exactly where you are supposed to be.