Today’s verse explains that when you listen to others you will increase in wisdom. Did you know you can be in church but not really “hear” what God has to say to you? Did you know that you can be reading your Bible but not really “hear” what God wants you to do? When you choose wisdom, you choose to hear.

Two psychiatrists met at their 20th college reunion. One was vibrant, while the other looked withered and worried. “So what’s your secret?” the older-looking psychiatrist asked. “Listening to other people’s problems every day, all day long, for years on end, has made an old man of me.”

“So,” replied the younger-looking one, “who listens?”

Are you a good listener? During interviews in a San Francisco study, teenage prostitutes were asked: “Is there anything you needed most and couldn’t get?”

Their response, invariably preceded by sadness and tears, was unanimous: “What I needed most was someone to listen to me. Someone who cared enough to listen to me.” 

Leadership Magazine asks the question, “How good a listener are you?”

  1. Since you think about four times faster than a person usually talks, do you use this time to think about other things while you’re keeping track of the conversation?
  2. Do you listen primarily for facts rather than ideas when someone is speaking?
  3. Do you avoid listening to things you feel will be too difficult to understand?
  4. Can you tell from a person’s appearance and delivery that there won’t be anything worthwhile said?
  5. When someone is talking to you do you appear to be paying attention when you’re not?

Care for other people by listening to them. It’s a sure way to increase in wisdom.

Where there is a feast of words, there is often a famine of wisdom. — Catherine of Siena

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder