S74P1 – When fools rush in: communication fails

Pro. 18:2

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.

Becoming a Christian changed a lot of things which I never expected would be part of the package.  One surprising revelation for me was how manipulative and selfish I had been in my relationships.  I recall many times addressing issues I believed needed to be resolved, but my approach to those conversations rarely was correct.  My concern usually was not to understand but to be understood.  Most times, my main goal was just trying to get my way.  What mattered to me was making sure that my viewpoint was aired and that my opinion was validated and accepted.  This is the work of a fool who believes that communication is nothing more than a contest to be won.  When we engage in this kind of verbal combat, no one emerges unscathed.

Wisdom is understanding, and that is why the foolish one does not seek it.  The one who seeks understanding first must admit that he or she has something to learn.  There is a component of humility there.  Fools, on the other hand, do not believe they have anything to learn.  They rush into conversations with one thing in mind and that is to teach others what they think is right.  Foolishness and pride certainly go hand-in-hand.  If we all approached our interactions with others in this manner, nothing would be accomplished.  We all would spend our days talking, but no one would take a moment to listen.  On the other hand, if we all sought understanding through our interactions we could go so much further and get there together.

The only way to move from foolishness to wisdom is to open our ears and our minds to understand that which we do not yet know.  We must be able to admit where our understanding falls short and humble ourselves enough to allow others to teach us.  That is the only way we truly can learn about others and about the things of God.  If our prayer life consisted of telling God everything we already know without seeking additional understanding from him, it would be useless and unfruitful.  Let us put aside whatever proud foolishness remains in us and allow God to complete our understanding with lessons from him and from others.  Father, make us humble and teachable enough to approach You, our brothers and our sisters with the desire to learn and increase in wisdom.