“A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out” (Proverbs 20:5, GNT).
Have you ever considered the effect that a well-used bucket could have on your relationships?
The proverb above describes our purposes and motives as water in a deep well. Many of our deepest thoughts are rarely shared with others, yet they are often the driving force behind who we are and how we behave. Reasons for this lack of sharing can be many: natural reticence, lack of trust, past hurts, the belief that no one cares anyway or sheer lack of opportunity. Like the water, the deepest parts of us are not freely available, but thankfully this proverb has a second part.
In response to the metaphor of a deep well, the proverb offers hope. “But someone with insight can draw them out.” This implies that like drawing water from a well we need to take our bucket and deftly and gently drink from the depths of another person. Practically, it requires a skilled combination of time, listening and good questions, so that we can more fully understand and appreciate those with whom we rub shoulders.
God seats us in Christian community because we need to both hear and be heard by other human beings, but the benefits of understanding and applying this proverb are not just for Christians.
How many misunderstandings could be avoided if we took the time to explore, ask questions and listen to others before forming an opinion? How many deep, lasting and healing friendships could be forged if we all took the time to truly consider one another? What would be the impact on the relationships with our children if we drew out their deepest thoughts with consideration and skill?
Prayer: Father, thank you for your continual and ongoing teaching. Give us the wisdom to come alongside and take the time to really love and know those whom you have brought into our lives. Amen.
By Gill Khoury
Red Hill, South Africa