Don't Be a Fool....Learn to Listen

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12, ESV)


I need to grow in my listening. As the old adage says, “God gave you two ears and one mouth so you should
listen twice as much as you speak.” But listening is not easy. It is hard to listen, because we naturally think our opinion is the most important one. We do not want to apply our hearts to instruction and our ears to words of knowledge, because there is a part of us that believes that we do not need to be instructed and to hear words of knowledge. Our lack of good listening skills could be, at its core, an inflated view of ourselves. James writes that we should, “be quick to hear and slow to speak,” but too often we are quick to be heard and slow in allowing others to speak.

Before we are able to give our ear to words of knowledge, we must apply our hearts to instruction. We have to open our hearts so we will be able to hear from others. For if we close our hearts to instruction we will be like the fool:

· The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to run. (Prov. 10:8)
· The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near. (Prov. 10:14)
· The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice (Prov. 12:15)
· Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge (Prov. 14:7)
· A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. (Prov. 18:6-7)
· Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Prov. 17:28)
· A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Prov. 29:11)
· Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him (Prov. 29:20)

Beloved, one of the best ways not to be a fool is to listen more and talk less. We have to open our hearts to instruction which will close our mouths to our own opinions. Let us be quick to listen and slow to speak. Listening is hard, but the benefits are tremendous.

In Christ,

Pastor Dave