If you want to be wise, learn to ask wise questions—and then listen.
Proverbs 20:5 NLT Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.
In other words, everybody’s got something to teach you. It’s like deep water in a well, and you’ve got to draw it out of them.
How do you draw the wisdom out of every person? By learning to ask smart questions and then listening.
God has blessed me by placing me in positions where I have lived all over the United States, and have had jobs that require lots of travel. In the last 50 plus years I’ve asked questions of people in a myriad of jobs from taxi drivers to politicians, some of them in key positions. All of these people have taught me something. You can learn from anybody if you know the right questions to ask!
One of the things I’ve learned is that I have never learned anything while I’m talking. If my mouth is moving, I’m not learning. You don’t learn when you’re talking. You learn when you’re listening. So you’ve got to learn to listen.
One of the things that I’ve noticed more and more over the years is that when a person is being interviewed it’s more about the interviewer than the person being interviewed. The goal of the interviewer seems to be to draw attention to themselves.
You can learn from anybody, but you’ve got to be willing to ask questions and then listen. That’s the mark of a wise person.
Proverbs 1:5 NLT Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance
Proverbs 12:15 NLT Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
We Gotta Think Before We Speak
James 1:19 NLT Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
“Listen” comes from the Greek word akouw which means, to consider what has been said, to understand, and to learn. Listening first promotes the righteous life that God desires for us by considering, understanding, and learning from each other. Careful listening serves and helps in demonstrating God’s love for others that can heal, repair, build, and strengthen. This is the ministry that God wants for all believers to have toward each other.
Many of us have experienced the consequences of opening our mouth and responding quickly to others’ words and actions. We must be willing to listen to what is said, hear what is spoken, guard our lips, and be cognizant of our reactions in all that we do.