Can You Hear Me Now?

The source of escalating conflicts between believers can often be traced to the arrogance of heart which manifests itself in a simple failure to listen. Proverbs 18:13 says: “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” The next time you’re involved in some kind of tension-filled back-and-forth with another individual—and it gets to the point where it’s dishonoring to the Lord—ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you interrupt the other person?
  • Did you listen to him carefully when he was speaking to you?
  • Did you let your emotions drown out what he was trying to say to you?
  • Did you often think about what you would say next while he was talking to you (in a way that adversely affected your ability to really hear and think about what he was saying)?
  • Did you zero in on one aspect of what he said (perhaps something you took issue with) but then fail to listen carefully to the other things he was communicating?
  • Did you neglect to ask for additional information that was needed before you could give an informed response to something he said?

If so, the folly and shame is yours, and the path of repentance is before you: “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.”

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2 responses to this post.

  1. One technique I have employed in debate (particularly with my better half) is to try to restate the other person’s statement before offering a rebuttal. That ensures that you have interpreted correctly.

  2. Posted by caleb kolstad on May 26, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    guilty

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