Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge. Proverbs 19:25
How many times have you heard someone say, “let me give you a piece of advice”? Plenty. Do you know why the person says it? He says it because he has already been through what you are about to go through or shouldn’t go through. He knows the pitfalls and traps because he’s been through them.
In the context of this verse, we are the simple. We should learn everything we can from as many sources as possible before undergoing things that could harm us. Learning from others’ mistakes is important if we are to grow. However, more often than not, we think we can do it better or with more wisdom than those who have gone ahead of us. Sometimes we’re right; mostly, though, we hang our heads and say, “I should have listened to you.”
It’s not a sign of weakness not to do something that someone says might be harmful to us; it’s a sign of wisdom and humility.