Thursday, September 24, 2015

Listen Before You Answer


Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

I doubt there is a parent alive who doesn't know what it is to referee a fight between two siblings. One is speaking in one of mom's ears, and the other is speaking in the other ear. It can be confusing. All of us are wired to do something when confronted with a problem. We want to get rid of it, get it out of the way. Oftentimes, that means we act before we think; we answer before we hear.
Proverbs 18:13 says, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." Boy, have I ever been ashamed at times when I gave an answer before I really heard what the question was. I made a judgment before I really stopped to consider what was being presented.
You cannot give a judgment until you have heard both sides of an issue. Until you hear both sides you have a bias, and making a good judgment comes from weighing the facts. That means listening before I answer.
Sometimes we are flattered when someone comes to us with their question or problem. They think we have enough wisdom to give them an answer. The truth is, a wise person knows what it is he does not know. That does not mean that we don't give help if we have it. It does mean that we don't make up answers, or feel compelled to quickly or tritely give an answer to someone merely because they have asked us.
The bottom line isthat you can't give a good answer until you give a good ear. People who give wise answers are people who think first, and people who think first are people who listen so they have something upon which to think.
The book of Proverbs is but an example of the infinite wisdom of God in the practical issues of our everyday life. When I listen well, I can give answers that are worth hearing.

Prayer Requests:
- Meetings this week in Mansfield, OH and Evansville, IN

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