I think Proverbs makes it pretty clear that the difference between a wise person and a foolish person isn't so much their intelligence as it is more spiritual factors…like for example the way they listen to other people.
I'm guessing we could a little more specific.
Wise people and foolish people listen to God's Word differently. Since I'm a preacher I might say it like this, wise people and foolish people listen to sermons differently. One of the differences between the wise person and the foolish person is their approach to hearing God's Word.
I've been thinking lately about a foolish way of listening to God's Word. How does the fool listen to sermons? In other words, what might be some things that people who don't take listen to God's Word well, do on a regular basis?
I've got a couple ideas, some I've seen in my life, others just from reflecting, perhaps you have more.
1.) Foolish listeners don't usually get ready for listening to God's Word…physically or spiritually. They just show up.
2.) They always blame their lack of interest on the preacher. Granted, sometimes preachers can be pretty boring, but it doesn't even occur to the foolish person that a lack of hunger for the Word might be due to sin. (1 Peter 2:1-3)
3.) If the sermon doesn't seem interesting to them right away, they don't even try to listen. It's got to be about them and their felt needs and they've got to see that connection immediately or they are out of it mentally. If a sermon is on something that they feel is theoretical or abstract even if it is biblical, they just don't want to think about it.
4.) They feel like the responsibility for learning lies completely in the hands of the preacher.
5.) They listen to the introduction and the conclusion and let their mind wander the whole time in between without making any effort to discipline themselves to listen.
6.) They feel like they know everything about the passage before the sermon even begins. If a preacher says something they have heard before, they assume they understand it because they have heard it before. If something seems simple to them, they take pride in the fact that it seems simple to them instead of enjoying the truth simply stated.
7.) They are closed to changing before the sermon even begins. They don't ask how can I be different, specifically as a result of this message.
8.) They don't really care all that much if the preacher gets the passage right, they care more if the message appeals to them.
9.) They are always first listening for others.