Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2 NASB)
“You’re not listening to what I said, hurry up we’ll be late” “but papa I want to tell you something…” said my daughter in response to me. This frequent scenario is so frustrating because we each want to say something and the other to listen.
Have you ever been busy formulating a comeback, so you didn’t hear or understand what your friend had just said; or recall being so busy trying to ‘show’ a subordinate (or child) where he is wrong that you failed to hear and understand them. That, says the sage in Proverbs, is the stuff of fools.
Fools have no interest in understanding, they only want to air their own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2 NLT)
The same is true in our interaction with others as well as with God, even in prayer. Rather than blab our opinions, it is wiser to seek understanding. Stephen Covey expresses this sentiment in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by advocating that we ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood’
Wisdom seeks to understand, and we do that by listening. So the next time you are eager to share an opinion, hit the pause button; maybe you will understand something if you listen. Everyone should learn to access that internal pause button and it should be well worn with use!
Action: Practice active listening – hearing and understanding someone before expressing an opinion.
Prayer: Lord please help me to seek understanding in my daily interactions with others and with you. Please help me to listen well and gain true insight before expressing opinions. May this understanding be a blessing to others whenever I do speak. Amen