Following my previous post on why pastors should become better listeners I now point you to John Piper’s recent, valuable piece on “Ten Reasons to Listen to Questions Before You Answer“.
Here’s a quick summary:
- It is arrogant to answer before you hear.
- It is rude to answer a half-asked question.
- Not answering a question before you hear it all honors and respects the person asking the question.
- Careful listening…often reveals that the question…is really more than one question.
- A question sometimes reveals assumptions that you do not share.
- Questions usually have attitudes as well as content.
- Questions have context that you need to know.
- Questions are made up of words… These words may not carry the same meaning for both you and the questioner.
- Proverbs 8:13 says it is our “folly” to answer before we hear.
- And finally Proverbs 8:13 says that it is our “shame” to answer before we hear.