“Happy is the man who . . gains understanding.” Proverbs 3:13 NKJV
“You must not be open to ideas, new or old, without spiritual discernment and discrimination.”
My thoughts today encourage you to “be open to new ideas.”
However much you know, that is never as much as you might think. There is much that you do not yet know. Beware of the unattractive attitude that you know it all, and the folly of living as though you do. As days pass, and years and experiences are gained, you will certainly learn more and become confident in what you have known. Meanwhile, choose to be open to new ideas along the way. Simple openness is the key to new experiences and the increase of your knowledge.
Having said that, let me also add that openness to new ideas greatly requires spiritual discernment and careful discrimination. Not everyone who announces, “This is new,” has made a previously unknown discovery. Only time will tell if they have merely disguised the old in new packaging or would misdirect you from what is tried and true. This seems when the Bible’s counsel is applicable, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
You cannot afford to be open to every idea, new or old. No wise person would leave their door open to anyone who drops by for good or ill, neither should your heart or mind be. Every new idea is not a good idea, nor every previous one. For both, you must learn to have wise discernment and discrimination.
And know this as well; every new idea is not better that what has been tried and true. Be neither closed nor gullible. But stay open, not to everything or everyone, but to those people and ideas that align with God’s Truth and ring true in your heart.. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge . . for the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 1:7/2:6 NIV. (See also James 3:15-17 NIV) That’s how real progress and advances come. See Proverbs 2:1-11 NIV.
Change alone is not quite enough; you want real progress and measurable improvement. For that to happen, you will need your knowledge to mature into understanding and wisdom.
Avoid either extreme: discarding anything because it is old or embracing everything just because it’s new. It is equally foolish to be open to everything as to be closed to anything. Every idea from the past or previous way of doing things does not always remain the best that may be possible. “Every teacher . . who has become a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who brings out of the storehouse the new teachings as well as the old.” Matthew 13:52 NLT. Learn to value both old and new and how to best integrate them for your gain and growth.
Long ago, a friend recommended reading one of the 31 chapters of Proverbs each day, each month. The central purpose of Solomon’s writings is to gain Godly wisdom. From Solomon’s experiences and observations as well as the impartation of God’s wisdom, he shares practical counsel for everyday life. Some things he learned the hard way – his own way. (Read Ecclesiastes)
As Solomon learned, you do not acquire that by your own cleverness. You will gain it from your high regard and attention to God’s Word, observe and receive it from the wisdom of others, and learn it through understanding your own experiences. That’s when and where you should be open to new ideas. Value those who have lived longer, journeyed further, and are open to know God and His ways better. Then become that for someone else. See Isaiah 55:8-11 NIV.
My prayer for you is to listen well to the Lord in your heart, open always yet wisely so.