Do you listen like a fool or wise?
“Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” Proverbs 12:15 NLT
I sat listening to a person tell me I had been speaking in a way that wasn't good. Nobody likes to hear that what we are doing isn't good. My first inclination was to brush her words off and assure myself she didn't know what she was talking about. Thankfully, I decided not to follow my natural instincts. Instead, I asked her to tell me more. My problem was blindness to myself. I couldn't see what I was doing. And with this particular issue, it was difficult for me to understand why it was a problem.
The problem is a long-held habit: sarcasm. Sarcasm is so natural to the way I speak that I don't often recognize it as such. What's the problem with sarcasm? It doesn't communicate the heart well at all. It masks tender feelings and builds a wall because sarcasm is often received as an attack. If I took the time to express my feelings rather than shoot out a quick sarcastic comment, I would invite relationship. I have to chew on this new way of thinking—if I really want healthy relationships, sarcasm needs to stop. Sarcasm will hurt my relationships.
I was tempted to think my own way was right. In other words, I was well on my way to listening like a fool. Instead, I opened myself up to the possibility that I needed to consider someone's corrective counsel. Even though the words were unpleasant to hear, I would've been a fool not to consider if there was truth spoken to me.
How about you?
When someone is giving you feedback (invited or not), do you take time to listen and consider? Or, are you quick to think your own way is right? Proverbs is clear. If you listen to others, you are listening like someone who is wise.
Are these words encouraging to you? Share.
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