May 8, 2021
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:2,13,15
Solomon makes numerous comparisons between the fool and the wise in Proverbs. The outcome is always the same: the fool’s actions lead to ruin but the wise overcome and prosper. In the above three verses, Solomon identifies the key attribute that fools lack but the wise possess, a teachable spirit. A fool speaks out of turn from lack of insight, but the wise seek knowledge and understanding.
This correlation applies as well to the success of pastoral counseling. Those who are eager to learn, give space for dialogue. Those who seek to be justified or to fix others, leave little or no room for feedback and insights and often give up on the process before benefiting from the fruit of reconciliation and restoration.
Father God, forgive us when we are quick to speak and slow to listen. Create in us a teachable spirit, that we might learn from our folly and seek the path of the wise. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling