Does Scripture miss a trick? That is to say, what sin of mine is not covered somewhere or other in the Bible?
And today, I tripped over one that my family reminds me frequently that I’m guilty of:
If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame. Proverbs 18: 13 ESV
See, here’s the thing.
On many occasions, when my husband or one of the girls launches into a long explanation or question, I, in my brilliance, having already deciphered what they are about to say, utter a response.
That is, I give an answer before they’ve finished. Which means I give an answer before having heard them out.
may be am often right about the direction towards which the soliloquy is headed.
But even if I am correct in my extrapolation, it’s still foolish and shameful for me to speak until I’ve really listened… to all they have to say. I may be accurate as I cut someone off mid-sentence with my response, BUT I have minimized that person.
I have said in so many words, “I really don’t care what you have to say.” or “I don’t have time to listen to you.” or “Let’s get it over with.” or “You’ve said this a million times and I’m tired of hearing it.” or “I can read your mind.” or “Ok. I got it, now here’s my response.”
All of which are unloving, impatient, unkind, condescending, arrogant, curt.
In a couple or words: foolish and shameful.
Well, I’m convicted.
Oh, Lord, I can’t believe how awful I’ve been to my family. Forgive me. Help me to listen as patiently as You do to me. Though You know exactly what’s on my mind, You want me to tell you anyway. You listen and that tells me that You care, that I matter, that You want to know me. In Your wisdom, You listen before answering. Help me to be more like You. Amen
Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 6:24-8:29, Psalm 72:8-14, Proverbs 18:12-13, John 18: 19-40. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).