Proverbs in 365 Devotions

Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Missing The Mission?

R Aylor

Today’s proverb reminds me of watching Jeopardy on tv. You know, the game show… Of course Alex Trebek always gives the answer before the contestants guess the question…

Let me read our text again:

Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

They buzz in with what they think the question is before he finishes giving the answer… So in their case the answer is really the question… Confusing right?

Well Solomon is not confusing at all compared to Jeopardy and especially myself.

He simply tells us how it is a shame to answer before you hear someone… The positive of what Solomon's focus on is on hearing. We need to be better listeners.

Oh how many a time has another person interrupted me and tried to comment on what I was saying as if they knew exactly what it was. I might say something like “You know, just the other day I was at the stoplight and a homeless person…” and before I finish my friend say… “Yes the same thing happened to me but it was a fireman instead of a homeless person knocking on my car window… They wanted money… Did the homeless person ask for money? Are you sure it wasn’t a Fireman collecting their yearly donations?”. “No… Listen! I was going to say… a homeless person came to my mind… I think I know where they sleep at… I was thinking of visiting them and taking some food and just talking with them and see what their hopes are for life… Do you want to come with me?”

And this kind of thing happens a lot to me and even by me… I have noticed I finish peoples sentences for them and others do the same… I think one problem is that we are in such a hurry and we think we are so smart and we hardly let other people be themselves. It’s like we can answer better for them than they can for themselves.

One issue that may be related is that… being always in a hurry… We think our agenda… our task… our purpose is more important than listening to others. Even as believers although we may want to be on mission for Christs every minute of the day… and theres so much mission work to do that we have to finish peoples sentences and hurry off to do more mission work and change the world… and the irony may just be that slowing down and being better listeners… trusting God instead of ourselves and all of our running… may be the mission and we may be missing it every day.

James 1:19 says: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;