The fool says, “I know it all.”
Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him. Proverbs 27.22 NIV
The fool just doesn’t listen. She figures that no one can teach her anything. We’ve all related to this person – the consummate know-it-all. Unless you’re up for a heated argument or a long, drawn out debate, the general response to the know-it-all is to excuse oneself as soon as possible; no one wants to get into a one-way conversation.
I have been reflecting lately on this question: How would our lives change if we truly believed and acted upon the truth that every interaction with another person had the potential to teach us something? Interesting thought, right? It’s not just about listening well – it’s about setting our mindset on listening always. We don’t have to agree. Sometimes we understand truth by recognizing falsehood.
The wise person says, “I want to be a lifelong learner and every conversation can teach me about life, people, God, the world and myself.”
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. Proverbs 9.9 NIV
Hans F. Hansen once said, “People that know that they are important think about others. People that think they are important, think about themselves.” If we understand our identify in Christ, then we know that we are important. We also know that God loves humility before Him and others. This humility takes us into all conversations with a willingness to love, listen and learn.
Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. Ecclesiastes 4.13 NIV
So, that’s it! I have really enjoyed reviewing God’s word about foolishness and reflecting on how it relates to communication skills. In summary, cockamamy communication occurs when a fool is wise in her own eyes, when she reacts, rather than thinks well and responds, when she develops a big mouth, when she verbally expresses from a restless heart and when she thinks that she knows it all.
How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1.22 NIV
Proverbs is such an amazing book to read about foolishness and wisdom. Generations come and go but the word of God does not change and its truth is eternal. It’s never cool to be a fool. We can choose wisdom.
Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. Tune your ears to the world of wisdom; set your heart on a life of understanding. That’s right – if you make insight your priority and won’t take no for an answer, searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, believe me, before you know it, fear of God will be yours; you’ll have come upon the knowledge of God. And here’s why: God gives our wisdom free, is plainspoken in knowledge and understanding. He’s a rich mine of common sense for those who live well, a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. Proverbs 2.1-7 The Message