Wise People Ask Questions and Then Listen

“People’s thoughts can be like a deep well, but someone with understanding can find the wisdom there.”

Proverbs 20:5 (NCV)

If you want to be wise, learn how to ask wise questions.

Proverbs 20:5 says, “People’s thoughts can be like a deep well, but someone with understanding can find the wisdom there” (NCV). In other words, everybody has something to teach you. Just like it’s worth the effort to draw water from a deep well, it’s worth the time and attention to draw wisdom from another person.

How do you draw the wisdom out of every person? You learn to ask smart questions.

As I’ve traveled around the world, I’ve asked questions of taxicab drivers and prime ministers—and they both have had things to teach me. If you know the right questions to ask, you can learn from anybody!

One thing I’ve realized is that I never learn anything while I’m talking. If my mouth is moving, I’m not learning. You don’t learn when you’re talking; you learn when you’re listening. So you’ve got to learn to listen.

The late American TV host Larry King once said this: In an interview show, if the host is talking 50 percent of the time, something is terribly wrong. The host should listen the most and talk the least. A good TV host sets up the question and then just listens.

I’ve done a lot of interviews over the years, and I’ve noticed fewer and fewer hosts following Larry King’s advice. More often, interview shows are about the interviewer, whose goal is to draw attention to themselves, and not about the guests.

In your life, be more like the host who has learned to listen. Be a person who believes you can learn from anyone.

You just have to be willing to ask good questions—and then listen. That’s the mark of a wise person.

Talk It Over

  • Try to spend a whole day focusing on listening rather than talking. What difference does it make?
  • What do you communicate to someone when you ask them a question and then listen to the answer with focus and interest?
  • To draw wisdom out of people, you need to learn to ask wise questions. What is an example of a wise question?

Speaking of important questions, are you certain of where you will go when you die?

Many people fear death—partly because they don’t know where they’ll go when they die. But Jesus came to save you from that fear of death.

The Bible says that every one of us sins and that the penalty of sin is death. But God loves you so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of your sins, to bring you into the family of God, and to save you from the fear of death.

If you’re ready to enter God’s family, here’s a prayer you can start with: “Dear God, I know that when I die, I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess I have ignored you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins and toward you.

“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all I’ve done wrong so that I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know only your grace can save me, Lord.

“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from my sins and from my fear of death. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.