Brian Shaffer Week 2

Proverbs 10:14 (New International Version)

14 The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

This verse hit me hard today! I was actually thinking of writing about another verse until I read verse 14. I am a fixer by nature; I think a lot of men tend to be the same way. I see a problem and try to do whatever I can to fix the problem. Sometimes though, I need to realize I'm not always able to do that as well as I think I can. I was talking to a friend the other day and she was telling me about a problem she was having at work. I quickly offered my advice and it didn't help her feel any better. She wasn't very happy with me either. When I read "the mouth of a fool invites ruin" I realized that I was a fool. My friend didn't need my help with the problem but just needed a sympathetic ear and someone to listen. I was like the friend who was asked to help with a window and brought a sledge hammer to do the work. Not only did I not help fix the problem with my sledge hammer skills, I actually broke the glass making things worse. If I wasn't so quick to try to help maybe I would have seen the actual problem. I know that if I had seen the problem I would have done a better job making things better for my friend. Instead of rushing to help, a minute or two of listening would have been much more valuable in that situation.

Abraham Lincoln (and according to the web a lot of other people) said, "It is better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." A person should always listen before speaking. Often times what seems to be the problem is actually not the problem at all but you won't see that if you don't listen enough before speaking. Whether you are trying to help someone, just talking to someone or even if you find yourself in an argument, take extra time to listen for the Lord's voice to guide your words. Don't be concerned if some silence enters into your conversation. I think that silence is a good thing, it gives the Lord time to speak to you and time for the Lord to speak to the heart of the other person. Listening before speaking is definitely something I need to practice more often.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given us to help one another and thank you for bringing us together to help each other. Helping one another is God's work and truly in your plan. We ask that you give us strength to keep our mouths closed and give us patience to actually see the problem in front of us before we use our gifts to help.