Today’s post will take a few moments to reflect on some verses found in the 18th chapter of Proverbs. (Check out Biblia.com for a nice new online Bible interface here). The particular verses highlighted below bring to mind important conversational principles that seem to apply to apologetics, evangelism, and personal interaction.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Is our goal understanding, or expressing our own opinion? Are we willing to listen to the opinion of others? Are we quick to listen and slow to speak?
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.
Are we looking for arguments, or seeking to win souls? Do we guard our words? Are we aware of the attitudes and spirit of those to whom we are speaking?
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Do we let others communicate and share, or are we waiting just to talk? Do we fully understand the issues and concerns, or are we pigeon-holing the person we are talking to?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Are we trying to learn from those we converse with? Are we being daily learners and disciples? Are we seeking wisdom and knowledge constantly?
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Do we wait to hear both sides of the issue, or do we make quick judgments? Are we jumping to conclusions, or really hearing the issue out?
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
Are we conscious of the emotions, heart, and feelings of those around us, or are we too concerned with an argument? Are we in relationships for the sake of others and for the long haul? Do we seek to live at peace with all men?
What insights from Proverbs do you find beneficial?