Words of Hope: The Path of Destruction When We Don’t Listen 

I have been reading Proverbs recently. Dad loved this book of the Bible, and we talked about it often. He and I both struggle with listening. You could talk with Dad and find that he had “zoned out” and missed some of the conversation. I sadly do the same thing. My family helps me block this habit by refusing to tell me what I missed. I hate to miss out and therefore suffer from this consequence. It helps me to listen more actively.   

I love how Proverbs talks about the importance of listening. It is one of the best ways to improve your relationships and reputation. Those who do not listen are considered foolish. In Proverbs, there are 72 verses on listening. They speak of the benefits of listening and the destructive path of those who do not listen. I think about the cycle of destruction which begins in a place of simply not listening to others, to the situation, or to God.  

If a person does not listen, they move toward being a fool. Fools are undisciplined in their ability to listen. 

If fools do not change, they will always seek the easiest path. They don’t care to listen to those they don’t want to. Their agenda becomes more important than listening. If something could be painful, challenging, and difficult, they stop listening. 

If the comfort seeker rejects wise counsel, he will progress to being a person who scorns listening to anyone. The scornful hate authority, they mock others, they are contemptuous of people, life, and God. Finally, if the scornful person doesn’t change, he will become self-confident, reckless, corrupt, and cruel. His main goal will be to draw as many people as possible into his plan for destruction.  He won’t listen to reason; he has cut off all ability to listen. 

I consider my destructive path of non-listening. Mostly, I stop listening when I value my agenda or opinion more than other people. As I humble myself to love and serve my family, I listen more, I pay attention, I am present. Listening not only heals my relationships but it also brings me wisdom, insight, and connection.  

 My son, be attentive to my words; 
incline your ear to my sayings. 
Let them not escape from your sight; 
keep them within your heart. – Proverbs 4:20-21