Proverbs 19 is a collection of 29 proverbs and in the Message, this chapter is given the title ‘If you quit listening’. So let’s go with that see what this chapter has to teach us about listening…
Just because someone is rich, it does’t make them worth listening to.
Just because someone is poor, it doesn’t mean you should dismiss everything they say.
Don’t be fooled by a generous person and swallow everything they say.
Mean-spirited people will drag you down, but the good-natured are refreshing to be with.
When someone’s in full rage mode, leave them be. Let them calm down and then try to find a solution.
Make sure the witness you’re listening to is trustworthy.
Slow down and listen
Rushing into something full of enthusiasm is often a waste of time, if you haven’t talked it through or thought it through properly.
Listen to God
Why do you blame God for what’s gone wrong if you didn’t listen to Him in the first place?
It’s great to brainstorm options and plans, but involve God in the conversation too.
Listen to wisdom
Listen to truth
Be discerning. The truth will out. Lies always get uncovered in the end.
Listen to the one in charge
There’s a reason they’re in charge. They’ve been chosen because they have the knowledge or the experience. Respect that.
Stop talking and listen
Hold your tongue. It is so much more important to listen than to speak.
And very occasionally, stop listening!
Well, not exactly. Don’t stop listening but really listen and try to get to the bottom of it. A nagging wife is like a dripping tap – yes, that gem’s in here. But don’t just ignore her and hope she’ll go away. Don’t block out the nagging. Actually sit down and work it through and come up with a solution. The same with a whining child – don’t punish or threaten or banish…take time to find out what’s causing the whining, the underlying problem, and come up with a satisfactory solution.
Listen to the rules
Rules are there for a reason. God’s rules are the best way to live. They do not restrict but bring greater freedom and happiness.
Listen to the needs of those around you
Listen to advice and constructive criticism
That is how you will grow and develop.
Listen to your parents
Kids who lash out against their parents
are an embarrassment and disgrace. v26
We all reach an age when we think we know best – at around 15 usually – but then we come out the other side at some point!
And then there must always be a way to show respect, even when we disagree.