A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.

It only takes a brief scroll through social media to realize many people don’t actually want to understand. It’s much easier to make a quick judgment or form a hasty opinion than it is to do the work of understanding. However, relationships will only be built when we humbly seek to understand one another more than just wanting to be right.

The divisiveness we witness today is palpable. Everyone thinks they are right and to disagree is un-American or un-Christian. We are more concerned about “revealing our own minds” than taking the time to hear anyone else. As The Message articulates this verse, “Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth.”

Sharing opinions and speaking out isn’t always bad. Often the Lord calls us to speak up and leverage our voice in bold ways. However, as believers, we must always remember that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), which means we represent Him in everything we say and do. That doesn’t mean we get to stamp all our opinions with His name. It means we must submit everything we are, everything we say, and everything we do at His feet. How we speak about Christ and how we represent Him to a lost and searching world matters. As the world looks around at the brokenness and increasing polarization of people, where will they find believers? Will they see us adding fuel to fires of those divisions? Or will they see us taking a step forward, ready to engage in understanding before speaking out of turn? Will they see us clapping back with easy quips on the other side of a computer screen? Or will they find us asking those we disagree with for a cup of coffee and conversation?

What we say matters. How we respond to those with whom we disagree matters. How we pursue those we don’t understand matters. It is more difficult to avoid spouting off unfiltered thoughts. It takes more work to listen, learn, read, question, understand, and engage. It takes more work to disagree with love and humility. In Christ, we are empowered to follow His lead in the process, and He give us an overwhelming amount of grace in the process.

• Where are you most likely to give an opinion before thinking? Form an opinion before learning?

• Is there a certain person or group of people who you easily dismiss before listening? How might the Lord be challenging you to change your thinking?

• Take some time to repent for the ways you have revealed your thoughts and mind out of turn. Repent for the ways you have misrepresented Christ in your speaking. Ask the Lord to reorient your heart as His ambassador in this world.