Are you listening?
My text today is one i wished i had not come across. Yep, I put my two cents in before knowing what the other is speaking about.
What am I saying? Well if you haven't read the text, here it is;
"To answer before listening -- that is folly and shame."
Oh Lord you forgot to add embarrassing and stupidity, oh yes you did answer I see "folly and shame.'
Does this tell something about your nature? It should and you know why? If you said because you are a flawed human, you then are right.
We all fail one way or another and that is why we need to listen with open ears and heart to God's teaching. Everything we need to know about on living is written in His word and He himself, who dwells in us is there to guide and teach us.
The problem is that we get so stubborn, that we forget to listen and in the case of my text we open our mouths before we even know what the other person is talking about. We married people, men especially, should be the best example of this as the other person gives us a look like "what planet are you from? Did not hear what I was talking about?"
I think the Lord gave us the best advice regarding giving an answer before the question;
"Understand my dear brothers and sisters, you must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. James 1:19"
Good advice, don't you think? Oh so be quick to listen? He is not telling us to listen quickly and answer, He telling us listen with an open heart and mind, let the other person talk, digest what is being said before answering, that is what it means to me at lest. It is giving the other person your complete attention in the matter they are speaking. Yet to often, if you are like me, you answer without knowing where this is going.
I see this happening in my field of work as the other person is explaining I answer without knowing complete the problem and it makes me look like a fool because in reality I think I know more than the other, it also happen with my wife and daughters I speak before listening completely.
You see, a lot of gain a lot of knowledge and even in our walk, so we think we are experts, but the real experts are the ones with the knowledge and the wisdom to know when to keep their mouths shut and listen and then give the appropriate answer as the Lord would do.
Knowledge is good to have, but it takes wisdom in any situation to support your knowledge because wisdom is your guide from you becoming a fool and =, as the text says, put to shame.
So in conclusion, as I speak for me also, is that I need to listen with an open heart and mind, and when it is my turn to answer, listen and speak what God gives me or has taught me the other person in all situations.
A perfect example in God's word of answering without listening is written through the pages of Job. Job spoke what he was feeling inside and they spoke and condemn him without listening.
It is a choice that we all need to make and it is part of God command for us, not a suggestion, but to slow down, listen and reply in a Godly manner with love and there will be times where should not answer at all, just be an ear, especially if you are married, because it is just to natural for us men to try and fix things when all our wives want from us is an ear.