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For those of us who tend to ignore the "listen more than you talk" rule (who are you looking at??), reading Proverbs 18 is humbling. In our society, we often face great social pressure to have an opinion about every possible issue and then to voice that opinion (often in a way that denigrates, embarrasses, and shames those who disagree with us). The picture the Bible paints of a wise person, though, is very different than that mindset. Just spend a few minutes with me in the following verses from Proverbs 18 – read them, reread them, meditate on them, pray over and with and through them. In such a fast-paced, issue-oriented world like ours, we need in a special way to slow down and let divine wisdom wash over us.

  • 2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
  • 6-7 A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
  • 12-13 Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
  • 15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
  • 17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
  • 19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. [NIV]
  • 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.