We live in a world full of short messages: Tweets, video clips, Instagram and Facebook posts. We also live in a world full of different opinions. We’re opinionated people. We have our thoughts on something, and we don’t usually want to open our minds to hear other people out. Sometimes we make up our minds before even giving the other side a chance to explain where they’re coming from. Our verse for the day has something to say about this.
Originally, our verse for the day was going to be Proverbs 18:2, which says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinions.” This is relevant to our culture today. I hope you’re not that kind of person. Don’t be close-minded.
This verse applies to our new verse for the day, Proverbs 18:13. It says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” I think this is talking about the fact that our pride can cause us to think we have all the answers. But we need to slow down and hear the whole story.
Have you ever heard a topic come up, and you find yourself deeply entrenched on one side with no desire to hear the other side? This verse reminds us that this is to our folly and shame. Hearing the other side of a situation helps us realize that, often times, it is far more complicated than we thought.
Sometimes we think of these kinds of topics without realizing that they affect real people. We think of gun control, abortion, homosexuality—these are crucial issues in society, and we must talk about them, but we have to understand that these are dealing with people’s lives. The Word of God deals with these issues, but we have to be open to hearing the whole story. Not just the side we want to hear, but hearing the whole story before we come to a conclusion. Some issues are black and white because the Bible deems them so, but even then, we should be careful how we communicate that. It should be done with love and grace.
Read our verse of the day again: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame,” (Prov. 18:13). Then look at verse 17: “The one who states his cause first seems right, until the other one comes and examines him.” A lot of times we only hear one side of the story, whoever is talking loudest. It’s easy to decide that this side is right before hearing what the other side has to say.
We have to learn to listen. The book of James tells us we should be quick to listen and slow to speak and anger. The more I learn about life, the more I realize that I don’t know very much. There’s so much more for me to learn about, and I need to be cautious not to make up my mind ahead of time.
It’s easy to get caught up in the whole “he said, she said” routine of gossip, but there’s always more to the story. Instead, let’s choose to hear the whole story before responding. If we do that, we will #GetWisdom.
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