Proverbs 18:2, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”
Have you ever been in a disagreement with someone and heard him or her say something like this? “Well, I don’t care what you think, I still believe I’m right!” Or, “I don’t need to listen to what you’re saying because I already know you’re wrong!” If you have chances are you were engaging with a person who was a “fool in their folly.” Meaning, foolish people (lacking wisdom) act without understanding and simply want to share their own opinions.
A wise person listens to the other side and carefully weighs what is being said because they love wisdom and are always open to receiving new instruction. However, as King Solomon states, fools don’t want to understand the other side they just want to state their own beliefs.
Jesus encountered people like this all time when He walked the earth. Many times the Jewish people arguing with Him were not even really listening to His answers but were simply trying to make sure everyone heard their opinions. Also, because they had no delight in learning or gaining knowledge from Jesus they remained ignorant and in their sins.
Once a successful businessman was sitting at table with fellow workers at an award ceremony. The other businessmen did all the talking and never really tried to understand what the other person knew or did. However, when it came time to give out the awards the one remaining silent was the only one at the table to receive the awards of achievement. After receiving his rewards the others asked him, “Why haven’t you been sharing your ideas with us?” The man humbly replied, “No one asked me.”
True wisdom is shown in humility and the ability to learn new things. Those who are proud and behave as “know-it-alls” are acting as fools. Therefore, make sure next time you’re in a conversation that you are listening to others to gain wisdom, not just airing your own opinions.
- Make a decision to be a life-long learner.
- Next time you’re in a conversation ask yourself, “Am I hearing what the other person is saying?”
- If a person you’re talking to isn’t willing to listen to you but only wants to sharing his or her opinions let them know you need to move on because your time is valuable.