Which part of a conversation do you most enjoy———the part where you listen and learn, or the part where you say what you think?
Published May 3rd, 2019
Proverbs 18:2 ESV
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only z in expressing his opinion.
“Do you want to understand, or what?” “I already do understand! Now you listen to me…” Have you ever had this conversation? I assume I am not the only person who has responded in such a way—such a foolish way according to the proverb quoted above. The point of this proverb can be further illustrated by stating its opposite: “The wise delights in understanding, and so prefers listening to getting in his own two cent.” Would we all not be far better people if we could only live out such wisdom? So why don’t we? What are the circumstances in which we talk before understanding? Here are some reasons I have played the fool in this way. I’m angry over a result and don’t care to understand how it happened. I’m already in a bad mood. I judge myself smarter than the person I’m talking with. I lack patience. How about you? Note, also, the central word of this verse: pleasure . This word leads us straight into another convicting question. That is, which part of a conversation do we most enjoy—the part where we listen and learn, or the part where we say what we think? I encourage you to memorize this short verse as ammunition against this foolishness we all struggle with in one way or another.