“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
Have you ever reacted quickly and emotionally to what another person had just said, without asking them what they really meant by what they said and getting clarification, but only found out later that you had misunderstood them, that they didn’t mean what you thought they meant?
I have done that many times. By God’s grace, He used a friend in my life to gently advice me not to assume what another person meant, but to ask more questions to understand them better. This is great wisdom for my personal life, but also a wonderful skill for counseling.
Listening well is so critical in our interactions with others. The Lord teaches us how to listen, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (v. 15) We are to listen with an open heart, open mind that is centered on Christ, and we are to take the active role, to seek knowledge – what is truly being said, and not what we think/assume is being said. May God give us wisdom and grace to listen well and love with kindness.