Umpqua Connect

The Envelope Please

June 18, 2020 Lonnie Wibberding
Umpqua Connect
The Envelope Please
Umpqua Connect
The Envelope Please
Jun 18, 2020
Lonnie Wibberding

A short devotional on Proverbs 18:13. Want to talk? Email us at

Show Notes Transcript

A short devotional on Proverbs 18:13. Want to talk? Email us at

Good Morning! I'm your host Lonnie Wibberding, and you are listening to Umpqua Connect. A daily devotional podcast sent out from the beautiful Umpqua Valley of Southern Oregon.

Today is Thursday, June 18, 2020

Johnny Carson used to play a character on his show called Carnac the Magnificent. Carnac would give answers to questions sealed in envelopes that he hadn't seen. Then the envelope would be ripped open to see what the question was. It was a great comedic routine. Carmac claimed to have great powers, then the answers turned out to be silly most of the time.

Whenever I read the Proverb for today, I think of these routines by Johnny Carson.

Proverbs 18:13 says:

To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame.

It might make great comedy, but answering before listening doesn't work well in real life.

Stephan Covey in his book, "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" makes Habit five, "Seek first to understand, then be understood."

There are two benefits we get when we slow down and make sure we listen before we speak. 

First, we understand. When you are listening it's easy to assume you know what someone is going to say. And often we use the time others are talking to think of what we are going to say next, rather than listening.

Solomon reminds us, slow down and listen. Make sure you understand. Ask clarifying questions. Take the time to get it. Then, unlike Johnny Carson's character, you will know what you are answering.

But listening does something else too. It helps the person who is talking feel understood. When someone knows they have been listened to and understood, they are much more likely to listen to you. When you show you care about someone's thoughts, they have a lot more respect for your thoughts.

A deep insight into the human journey Solomon nails.

To answer before listening -- that is folly and shame.

It may not matter if you're a comedian, but for the rest of us, it's just good advice.

Thanks for connecting.

May God Bless your day. We'll talk again tomorrow