He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him. (Proverbs 18:13)
Take Time To Listen
The best quality of a wise man is the ability to listen. It is easy to be impatient in dealing with others expecting an immediate solution often at the expense of knowing the whole truth. Often this comes from a prideful heart that assumes there is no reason to hear what the other person says. As the conversation develops a constant barrage of interrupting discourse drives the discussion to an end based upon self-absorbed knowledge. There is a belief that what the other person has to say is not worth listening to. The folly and shame of this type of attitude is arrogance. A haughty spirit will not be patient enough to listen attentively to what anyone says. This happens more against God than anyone.
Faith comes from hearing and faith comes from the word of God. Like in our conversations with one another to answer a matter without first hearing the whole story is foolishness; many will not hear the full message of salvation as explained in the word of God. This is also foolishness. Bible study becomes a sparring of ideas instead of a search for truth. Arguments are created over matters that are without foundation in what is written in the word. Instead of trying to answer a question by the wisdom of man it would be wise to open the Bible and read what God says.
Imagine the scene of three people having a discussion about what one of the other individuals said. Bob and Sam get into a heated discussion about what Gary said and the whole time the argument continues no one every stops to ask Gary what he said. In fact, what Gary said is written down and either Bob or Sam could read what Gary said but instead they argue from their own viewpoint. This would be folly. Let’s take the scene to a spiritual application. Bob and Sam get into a heated argument about what God said but neither of them takes the time to read what the Lord said. Would that also be folly? Why is it those who know so much about the Bible seldom read the Bible? It is imperative to know what God says about a matter before we begin to draw conclusions of faith.
Our relationships with others will be much improved if we would take the time to listen before we speak. The eternal relationship we have with the Father will be much improved if we would take the time to read what His will is. Listening is so important to knowledge and seeing what the will of God is for my life will give me greater guidance. Take time to be holy and take time to listen.
Faith will totter if the authority of sacred scriptures wavers. (Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana, 397)