Saturday, August 16, 2014

What a shame, what folly, to give advice before listening to the facts!

Prov. 18:13  What a shame, what folly, to give advice before listening to the facts!

It happens all the time.  People are quick to give advice before they know the facts.  It takes time to discern truth from fiction.  One must listen carefully and give careful thought to what he hears.  One must be sure that what he hears is actually what the truth is.  We are not God and mistakes are made, but we can avoid a lot of mistakes in the advice we give by doing our homework first.  There are several reasons why we are not very good listeners.

We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  We think of ourselves as being wise and able to readily share our wisdom with others.  We often consider ourselves able to discern truth from error without much investigation.  We often are very poor listeners, wanting to talk more than listen.  We often are not really knowledge about the subject at hand and do not want to admit it.  We sometimes consider ourselves too busy to take the time to listen to the facts.

Whatever the reason, poor listeners give more often than not poor advice.  We lead others astray and create problems for them and ultimately ourselves.  It is foolish to give advice without knowing what we are talking about.  We lose our respectability and the trust of others.  We become the problem instead of the problem solver.

Wise is he who is grounded in the Word of God so that when advice is sought for he can speak from the context of the Scriptures.  Wise is he who is so in touch with the Lord that he knows when to keep silent about things he is not able to adequately give advice on.  Wise is he who understands that he does not know all things and is not too proud to admit it.  Wise is he who loves others enough to not lead them astray with bad advice.

God gives us minds to use properly, to help one another think and act Biblically about things.  Let us be careful when we give advice.  Let us be sure that we are grounded in the Word and know the facts before we speak. 

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