If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
We’ve all been there. You’re talking with someone and you can only get maybe half a sentence out before they’re interrupting you and telling you their thoughts about the matter (or changing the subject to something else entirely). Maybe they continually try to finish your sentence for you and they’re always way off in their guess about what you were about to say. Maybe they’re the type of person that, no matter what, will always end up dominating the conversation and you always find yourself relegated to standing there and saying nothing while they talk on and on.
Or maybe you’re presenting a problem that needs to be solved to your spouse, co-workers, teammates, friends, brethren at church, or fellow elders, deacons, or ministers…and you haven’t even shared all of the relevant information yet when someone speaks up and says, “I know what we need to do! Let’s do this!” Even after more information is given, they’re adamant that we all need to go with their idea.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
However, think of the times when you’ve been talking with someone and it’s clear that they’re listening to you. They ask you questions about what you said for clarification. They comment on your points of view after you’ve given them and after pausing for a bit to think about them.
Think of the times when you’ve presented that complex problem to your family, co-workers, fellow church leaders, co-workers, or bosses…and you have that person who says, “Let me think about that for a bit and I’ll get back to you.” And then, perhaps later in the day or the next day or the following week, they take you aside and say, “I’ve been thinking about that problem you were talking about, and there’s some things I’d like to run by you that might just help you out.”
Kind of refreshing, isn’t it? Talking with people like that is nice. It’s helpful. I don’t know about you, but I tend to walk away from those kind of conversations with a smile on my face, glad that God had provided me with an opportunity to talk with that individual.
Let’s be that guy. Not the other guy who never thinks things through and is only interested in what he thinks.
Let’s be wise, not foolish.