“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.” – Proverbs 15:28
Have you ever been the victim of a pat answer? You asked a serious question, you bared your soul to someone, you acknowledged internal pain, grief, doubt, or fear – and you got what amounted to a flip response. No thought behind it. No effort at understanding your situation. No consideration for what solution might fit your unique needs.
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.” One of the characteristics of Christian maturity is thinking before speaking. Listening with the heart, striving to understand the other person to the greatest degree possible, sifting through Scripture to find what is most appropriate to uplift and encourage, seeking wisdom for every word spoken.
Pat answers are fast and easy. Wisdom is takes time and effort. Which would you prefer to receive? Make sure that is what you are giving others!
Think of a time when you were the victim of a pat answer. How did you react (internally or openly)? Why? What kind of response would have helped you in that situation?
Think of a time when you gave someone a pat answer. Why did you respond to them in that way? Consider the situation again: if you could go back and do it over, what would you say now?