Listen Up!

Answering before listening is both stupid and rude                                                                                               Proverbs 18:13

The Book of Proverbs is really old- well over 2000 years old- yet it provides wisdom even today. All of us should heed the words in this book, and while some parts are certainly culturally dated, the principles by and large remain as helpful truths.

Take, for example, today’s passage about listening. As a counselor, I know that my client deserves to have a good and thorough hearing of the things that are important to them. Things that have been weighing on them. They may have confusion about direction. They may have shame and guilt over past actions. They may have deep sorrow, or they may have anxiety that prevents them from sleeping.

Whatever they bring to the session needs to be heard before a discussion can begin. Any preconceived ideas I may have about them or the issues they bring must be set aside until I get to know their mind and heart.

The writer of Proverbs knew this, and told his readers that failure to listen is “foolish and disrespectful”. In The Message version quoted above, the writer says that “Answering before listening is both stupid and rude”.

I suggest that this also applies to today’s political discourse where we hardly give any consideration to listening to one another in order to apply our strongly held beliefs with some vigor.

Proverbs has some great stuff. We should listen.

Prayer: Thank you Father for the wisdom we see in Proverbs. It is timeless and needed for today, Amen.

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