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Wisdom from About - The Book of Proverbs - a sunrise through purple clouds with a road through a field of wildflowers. Wisdom from About - The Book of Proverbs - a sunrise through purple clouds with a road through a field of wildflowers.

Daily Devotional | Listening Is Better


If you’ve spent even the smallest amount of time on social media, then you appreciate the truth of today’s Proverb. Social media can bring out the worst in people like me, who think they have the best opinions and want everyone else to know it.

Proverbs shows us two paths in life—the path of folly and the path of wisdom. We’ve seen repeatedly that humility marks the path of wisdom, for humility acknowledges what God says about us as true: We are needy. We don’t know everything; we don’t have everything; and we cannot possibly save ourselves. Fools think the opposite. Rather than seeking out understanding, they “delight in airing their own opinions” (v. 2).

Foolish people say foolish things. Notice the extensive advice in this chapter on what not to say: “The lips of fools bring them strife” (v. 6), “the mouths of fools are their undoing” (v. 7); and “the words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (v. 8). Fools seek only to be heard. They are much more concerned with being heard than listening. The apostle James has stern words to say about the way we speak: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:9–10).

With humility and seeking wisdom, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to guide us. We need the work of Christ to make us humble, to cause us to seek understanding rather than spout off what we think we know. We need, in Paul’s words, “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

>> Think about your words today. Consider your use of social media and how you interact with people face to face. Do you seek understanding in those conversations, or are you more interested in making sure others know what you think?

Pray with Us

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps. 46:10). Before we spout our opinions, remind us to be still and know who You are.

BY Dr. Russell L. Meek

Russell Meek teaches Old Testament and Hebrew at Moody Theological Seminary. He writes a regular column on understanding and applying the Old Testament at Fathom Magazine, and his books include Ecclesiastes and the Search for Meaning in an Upside-Down World and the co-authored Book-by-Book Guide to Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary. Russ, his wife, and their three sons live in northern Idaho.

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