Running My Mouth VS. Lending My Ear
“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
I’ve been accused in the past of not being a good listener. Mostly, by my dad. I remember he used to tell me, whenever I needed to be disciplined, that I formed and contorted this face. A face of disinterest, disrespect, almost an unsober-like look towards any and all authority. Like I was bored of being told off, I was bored of the attitude adjustment. In my head, no [expletives] were given, why bother trying to look like I do.
I’ve been in Proverbs a lot more recently. The beauty in the book of Proverbs is that you never run out of things to unpack. You could apply the same verse 3 1/2 years ago, and have it completely be different from today. And when God whispers in my ear about “the mouth of the folly” vs. “the ear of the wise”, I can’t help but revisit all the times being right, being good at everything, being the center of attention took precedence over the way I treated or hurt people…in the name of getting away with anything. A slight joke, a misuse of words, or an unwelcomed opinion.
Notice that these two verses not that far away from each other. And in the middle, the tug of war between folly and wisdom is verse 14, regarding the spirit of a man. How fitting that God should teach me this during this time.
It’s a trying time right now in our country. I must admit that I’ve been fighting the urge to let go of myself and give in to the outrage. Don’t get me wrong, it’s “go time” for me about fighting injustice. What do you think I’m doing in Haiti? Baking cookies? (I’ve been doing that too). But you probably won’t hear my voice on social media.
There’s a wise way to do it. There’s the listening, discerning aspect of it. No, I will not be giving you my political stance, I am not called to do that. And just because I choose to be silent on my statuses does not mean I’m laying here waiting for the dust to settle. I’m answering a different call, and what I am called to do is what Christ taught upon the treatment of others: helping the poor, caring for the sick, defending the oppressed. Assume with that what you will.
But if I let my mouth dictate what my body does, then there’s no need for assumption, is there?
So what is my ear listening to instead?
Don’t look at me. Look at the Christ that I follow. Hear the Christ that I listen to. And let the tug of war within my spirit to be on the side of wisdom.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’”