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In this series on wisdom, it would only be fitting that we would mention all of the wisdom found in the book of James. There is so much deep wisdom in the short book of James. A great nugget is found in the first chapter of James, verse 19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” There are several points of struggle for many of us in this verse – we struggle to be quick to listen, we struggle to be slow to speak, and we struggle to be slow to become angry. Today we’ll focus on being quick to listen.
Solomon, who was the wisest person in the history of the world, the person who had more wisdom from God than anyone, wrote more than anyone else about the importance of listening to others. Read some of his tidbits of wisdom about listening to others.
Proverbs 9:9 – “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still…”
Proverbs 1:5 – “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel…”
Proverbs 12:15 – “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Proverbs 15:22 – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 19:20 – “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
Proverbs 13:10 – “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
The reality is most of us are not quick to listen, or to ask others for advice or counsel because our emotions become involved. Personal decisions are emotional by nature. Emotionally charged environments are not ideal for decision making and almost every decision making environment is emotionally charged, especially big ones. So what do we need to do? Listen. Listen. Ask for advice. Ask for input. Ask for feedback from someone who is not emotionally involved in your situation.
Which brings us back to the question we’ve been asking throughout this series: what’s the wise thing to do? In light of your past experience, your current circumstances and your future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for you to do? Listen. Listen. Listen.