To answer before listening–that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13
Talking is something that a lot of people like to do. Most people have something to say and want to say it. They want to get their opinion on the matter out in the open for everyone to hear.
Since people like to talk so much, they will speak first before listening and thinking. Things are often said that are not in the right context or are wrong.
As one person is talking, the other person often is already forming their answer and is not hearing the first person in what he is saying. When this occurs, what is heard is often misheard and is used incorrectly. Actions like this is dishonoring to the one who spoke and selfish of the one who should have been listening.
In this verse it says that the one who does not listen and just gives an answer is living in folly and shame. He is being a fool.
It is easy and common for a person to answer before fully listening to the one speaking. This is because he is in a hurry. He may be in a hurry to move on to something else, to say what he thinks is correct, or just to get the discussion over. It takes time and effort to really listen to what another person is saying.
The foolishness comes in because the full story was not heard. When that occurs, things are often misunderstood.
Not hearing everything first can also be found in the church. The preacher speaks a full sermon and all the person heard was one thing and makes a rebuttal off of that one statement. Some read one or two verses and take them out of context responding incorrectly to it.
Both actions are foolish and selfish. They are about self and moving self forward, rather than honoring and building the other person up.
Every day people will talk to and with you. Take time to slow down and listen to what they are saying. Sometimes you have to hear what they are saying beyond just the words.
Some people will be crying out for help without asking for help. If you fully listen to a person, you will hear that cry.
Instead of speaking first, be willing to listen first. Once you have listened, you have the right to speak. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
I pray today that God will help you to hear what people are saying; that God will give you patience to listen to others; that God will guide you in what you say; and that you will build others up in Jesus in all that you say.