In my reading through the Proverbs, the eighteenth chapter
got my attention. Here are three from that chapter:

“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body” (v. 8).

“If one gives answer before he hears, it is his folly
and shame” (v. 13).

“He who states his case first seems right, until the
other comes and examines him” (v. 17).

They all have to do with conversation, and they hit three
great problems in the church today: gossip, not listening, and listening to
only one side. All of these can be corrected by a simple desire and act of the
will. However, to act properly means that there will be no more “choice
morsels,” no “ego talking,” and no choosing up sides.

Here are two New Testament sentences which will help us in
our decision:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their
needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick
to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:9).

Our speech should be for others, and our listening should be
for others.

Written October 1986.

This post coordinates with today’s reading in the To
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