Just a few observations today.
Whether self, fame, or riches, we all have something in which we put our faith and trust. Prov 18:10-11 reminds us of two sources for our confidence and the two kinds of people our confidence produces: 1) those who are safe and 2) those who think they are safe.
Two skills are required for communication: speaking and listening. This Proverb addresses both (Prov 18:1, 4, 6-8, 13, 20-21). One expression from my wife that is painful for me to hear is “Let me finish.” That only means I was impatient and rude; that only means that speaking my mind was more important than understanding hers (Jm 1:19). When she has to demand that I listen to her, I’ve lost some important ground in our relationship. If we don’t hear what others are saying and know what they think, how can we really express compassion or know how to help (Prov 18:13)? In fact, the best way to disarm someone’s defenses is to hear them out (Prov 18:19). Perhaps that’s why we feel satisfied when we are around others who do listen to us (Prov 18:21). Even if our concerns are not answered and our problems left unsolved, it feels good just to talk about them. Not only is it shameful and foolish when we fail to listen to others (Prov 18:13), it fortifies our opponent’s defenses and intensifies the conflict.