There is a tendency amongst us guys to not listen, especially when we are talking with other men. The event unfolds something like this:
1) One man opens up about a specific sin he is struggling with, or a question that has him perplexed.
2) While that first man is still talking, the second man is formulating his solution to the issue... and, perhaps he will allow the first speaker to finish before spouting it off.
3) The second man tells the first man what he should do.
4) The first man is given what most often amounts to a pat answer (albeit something very tangible and practical) and is expected to get that fixed in the near future...
5) Rich, Christ-saturated, Spirit-led, God-honoring fellowship has been enjoyed by all! (That was saracasm!)
A wise man learns to listen. Now, before I attempt to prove that, let me lay some basic groundwork.
1. The Foundation: It is good for men to speak to one another – confessing sin, seeking counsel, asking for advice, etc...
We need to confess sin to God... but to men as well:
Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
God has granted some men much wisdom which is to our benefit if we tap into it:
Proverbs 14:33 “Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools”
Proverbs 24:6b “and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
Wise friends will have words that hurt sometimes, but are for our good:
Proverbs 20:30 “Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.”
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
So, you can see... men need to be in relationships with other men. And one thing that will help make those relationships profitable is learning how to listen to each other.
Watch for Part Two "Men That Are Wise Are Slow to Speak"