He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him. (Proverbs 18:13)
Have you ever noticed that those who know the least know it the loudest? Ignorance has a way of exposing itself. We mistakenly think that we have to have an answer for every situation and question. We also are slow to listen. Here’s a familiar situation: You and your spouse are having a heated conversation. Your wife is giving her explanation. Instead of truly listening, you are thinking of your retort. This is a prime example of answering before we hear. It is folly and shameful. I have found that wise people answer slowly. They ponder their response instead of blurting it. Impulsive responses are very costly. A curt word, a foolish vow or an impetuous promise, again, will show folly and bring shame. Learn to honestly listen. Don’t give a quick, sharp retort. Don’t answer if you do not know. Learn to listen prayerfully. Learn to answer respectfully and you will avoid folly and shame.