A reoccurring theme in Proverbs contrast what a fool is like verses what a wise person is like. Here are two verses that bring to light that contrast in our everyday life.
Listening to others
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
Sometimes we hold on to our position to such a degree that we can't see someone else's point of view. I'm certainly not talking about condoning sin....but simply seeking to understand. We can't minister to someone whom we refuse to listen to or endeavor to understand. Is it possible that there are people in your everyday life that you really don't understand because of preconceived ideas or suppositions that you hold? Some years ago I was on an abortion debate message board. While I certainly kept my pro-life position I nonetheless through discussion began to see the plight of many women in our country and in the world. I saw somethings that were excuses but other things that were opportunities to minister in the lives of women. In the end some women I talked too...said, "we know you care about us." That never would have happened if we (I wasn't the only Christian on the board) refused to listen. The experience forever changed my thinking. It was an everyday challenge. We were able to maintain our pro-life position and show love and understanding. I began to care about the women that felt they have no choice. Admittedly it is difficult to listen when your mind cries out to express itself.
Do you dare to ask the Holy Spirit if there are areas and subjects that you've refused to listen to someone elses point of view?
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.
Been there done that. If you are like most people just reading this verse brings back memories of a time where this was true of your response. Thankfully we don't have to stay in that rut. It is easy to have a little information and run with it instead of being patient enough to hear the whole story. Easy in this case though isn't good. It can harm relationships and make you wish that you could do it all over again. Here is one more verse that brings the truth home.
17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
until the cross-examination begins.
What verses popped out at you as you read Proverbs 18 today?