When does a person stop learning in life? According to Proverbs, only an unwise man stops learning. A truly wise man will hear things throughout his entire life and will continue learning from what he hears. Here in verse 5 of chapter 1 of Proverbs we see that in the opening statement of Proverbs a lifetime of learning is what the wise man embraces.
The fool is the one who thinks he knows everything. He walks about in life thinking he has learned all he needs to learn. But it is a fact of life that we will never learn a billionth of all there is for us to know. Were we to spend a thousand lifetimes doing nothing but learning - we would only scratch the surface of all that there is to know in the universe - let alone know all there is to know about God. Therefore we should always be listening, studying, and opening our minds to learn as much as we can. Only this way can we ever hope to have a heart of wisdom.
When the wise man hears the words of Solomon - and more importantly the Word of God - he hears. Note it does not say that he listens - for many listen but don't actually hear what is being said. The wise man hears what is said and allows it to sink deep within his heart. When he does so he increases in learning. The word for learning here is very interesting. It is "leqah" and it means learning or insight. The idea behind this word is not just gathering a group of facts. It refers to when a person has insight due to the facts that they know. Spiritual education requires that we know the facts - but it goes far beyond that. Spiritual education leads someone to be able to have insight - to be astute to what God is doing and saying. It means we are able to discern between good and evil - between knowing God and not knowing Him. When we increase in learning we are not just increasing in the amount of knowledge we have. We are increasing in our ability to walk with God and discern all things from His standpoint.
The second half of the Proverb points this out to us. It tells us that a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. When we hear and learn - we will also gain understanding and wisdom. We hear and are able to distinguish the difference between things - between choices - between outcomes. We understand the truth - and can apply the truth to every situation of our lives. In doing this we acquire the counsel of wisdom from God. The Lord makes Himself known to us - and knowing Him makes all the difference in the world. We see things differently - and definitely make different choices.
A good question to ask ourselves is whether we are just gathering information - or we are gaining a greater insight and ability to make godly choices in life. If we constantly hear what God is saying to us in His Word, in the circumstances of our lives, and through the godly counsel of others, we will increase in our ability to discern and see things as God sees them. "THAT" will do wonderful things in helping us make good choices all day long - and over the course of our lives.