Ecc 7:5 "It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools."
This sounds like Solomon. There is so much in Proverbs that deals with listening to reproof. The person who listens, hears, and applies what is being told to him is considered wise. The person who turns it away is considered a fool.
This verse is just a different take on this concept. I have others who give me advice. I have many who give input into my life. I have those who feed me what they think. Who am I listening to? Who am I heeding? Who am I following? The wise person or the fool? Oh, maybe what the fool says sounds good (songs). It is pretty and maybe what I want to hear, but is it what I need? I need people in my life who are going to be honest with me and tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. I need people in my life who are wise, who are skilled, who are prudent. I need people in my life who will tell me the truth in love.
The temptation is always to avoid these people because what they have to say is not always pleasant. And that is what we want, isn't it? We just want what is pleasant. We want what is comfortable. We want what is going to make us feel good. We want affirmation. We want songs. The problem is the source of those songs. If they are coming from people who have proven with their lives that they really don't know what they are talking about, maybe we shouldn't rely upon them.
On the flip side, those who show that they know what they are talking about, who have lives that God has used and God is using, who practice what they preach, who live the truth, these are the people I need to surround my life with and listen to…even when it is unpleasant. Even when it hurts. And when that happens, I need to truly hear what they are saying. This doesn't mean saying: "Yes, I know." and then go about my same stupid ways. It means hearing, listening, heeding, obeying, applying, changing, repenting.
And then I have to ask myself this question: What kind of advice do I give? Am I wise? Do I speak the truth in love, or do I avoid it? Do I only sing songs of comfort or should I open my mouth and give solid counsel? I know I hate confrontation. It is another area that makes me uncomfortable, but I am not a true friend if I don't do it. God give me wisdom and give me words.