Proverbs 18:13 NKJV — He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.
Not long ago I was listening to a sermon and after reading this verse the pastor said:
“Don’t let your first thought be your final answer.” Pastor H.
The first thought, the first impression, and that first reaction, are often less than the whole picture.
It requires time and attention to get to the actual kernel: the point in most conversations.
Yet, it’s not uncommon to bite into the first words which register upon the brain.
To begin to “chew” on that first bite, only to discover we have a mouthful of misunderstanding, tasteless and disappointing for either party.
No one wants to be only “somewhat” listened to.
Yet, it’s probable, that most people at one time have “answer(ed) a matter before he hears it,” Proverbs 18:13 (past tense added).
What is even easier than jumping to a conclusion?
Speaking without grasping the point.
We must guard against both assuming we completely understand without listening and to refrain from answering quickly.
Proverbs 10:8 NKJV — The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall.
Prating foolishness is easy if one speaks before they grasp the point.
Proverbs 13:15 NKJV — Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard.
How does one truly understand if one has not spent time listening? Especially, when it comes to listening to the Lord.
Proverbs 21:2 NKJV — Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
Not every conversation we have will require diligence to unearth the matter, but all the words we speak should be weighed by us before uttering.
Matthew 12:36 KJV — But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
It’s worthwhile to learn to listen, and most valuable to tame our tongue.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for teaching us the importance of self discipline, especially when it comes to conversation. Lord, please place a guard upon my mouth, and let me not sin against You. Lord, please help me not to be arrogant or impatient with others, assuming I know what they are talking about without giving them the courtesy of my attention. Please, help me to be careful with what I say. Lord, I want to love like You do. I want to speak words of encouragement. Please help me to do so and to truly listen to those around me. Thank You. Amen.