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Why are you talking?

Proverbs 18:2


    “A fool has no delight in understanding but in expressing his own heart.”


“Delight”- #2654 “chapets” – To will, to desire, to favor or to love someone.


“Understanding”- #8394- ‘tabuwn”- “The act of understanding, intelligence, intelligent words.


“Expressing”- Written in the KJV as “But that his heart may discover itself”- Meaning that the heart would be revealed or made naked.


This verse is so powerful and yet so simple it is astounding. It implies that a fool is a person who goes about telling everyone how they feel, what they think, etc. the find no value in really understanding where another person is coming from. In fact, it is expressed that someone who behaves this way is unloving. Certainly we all know of someone like this or we ourselves are guilty of this… I know that I am. It is the person who just dominates conversations or speaks incessantly. However, there is a more subtle way of exhibiting this foolish behavior. It is when someone “pre-argues.” What that means is that if you are having a discussion with someone {whether it is an actual argument or not} and the points discussed are disagreed upon, that one or both parties do not actually hear what the other is saying but rather think about how they are going to defend themselves verbally when it is their turn. This is foolish and it is unloving. I absolutely am guilty of this. I have conditioned myself over the years to believe that when I do this, if I use enough force, the other person will back down whether I’m right or not. This is also unloving. Proverbs 18: 13 echoes this “pre-arguing” concept:


  “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”


Have you ever done that? Spoken before you knew the whole story? Interrupted someone and then looked like an idiot when they were finally done? I have and it is terrible- the Bible is exactly right… it is folly and shame!! The theory of “pre-arguing” is based in pride and pride is always based in fear. We can actually go backwards with the thought and discover that pride is basically unbelief {the same root cause of all other sins}. Think about it, when you are in an argument or a discussion, basically, if you are a fool you just want to be told that you are right because your self-esteem rests upon other people blowing up your ego- pride. This is an exhibition of unbelief in the fact that God says that you are enough. That you have the mind of Christ, that you are accepted in the beloved…. that you are valuable even if no one ever says that you are because God says that  you are. To that point, God is the one who created us to need encouragement and acceptance from other humans and so if we are wise and believe that God knows of this need and will fulfill it, then we can state our opinions and points and trust that if they line up with what God says then we will receive praise from those around us. Praise from other humans is not bad if it is in balance or if it is for being godly. 


    In conclusion, we see that it is foolish to go around telling everyone our side, our opinions, our feelings without desiring to understand or even listen to their side. It is also foolish and shameful just to cut people off when they are speaking, before they are done and before you know the whole story. It is therefore wise to listen intently to what someone is saying to us with the earnest desire to understand their perspective. In this way, we are humbling ourselves and we are laying down our own lives for our friends. 

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