Listen Before You Speak
“He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” (Prov. 18:13)
Have you ever noticed how we don’t like to be interrupted, but we don’t seem to mind interrupting others? Why is that? We all think that what we’ve got to say is of great value and deserving of a hearing. For some reason, we don’t place as much value on what others have to say. That being the case, we’re tempted to answer a matter before we’ve given it a full hearing. Having only a fraction of the story, we think we’ve got more than enough information to make a statement.
How many times have you put your foot in your mouth by doing this? When I was in 8th grade, I remember my teacher showing me a picture of her children. I’m sure she was about to tell me they were her children, their names, their interests, etc. Before she had a chance to explain those things, I interrupted, “Are those your grandchildren?” She said, “No – they’re my children.” Her late 80’s frosted hair threw me off and I embarrassed myself because I spoke when I should’ve been listening.
How many times have you pre-judged someone when you only heard half the story? I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not only misjudged innocent people, I’ve even perpetuated the half-story I was told. In doing so, I brought shame to myself and others. We need to remember that God gave us two ears to hear and one mouth to speak. When we hear something, we need to make sure we have all the details before we respond. If not, it’s only a matter of time before we wind up looking foolish.