Proverbs 18:2 - "A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart."
The Proverbs have a knack for picking me out as a fool, which is not exactly the most enjoyable experience. It is an incredibly important one, though. This verse challenges me to examine how I communicate in two areas.
1) Relationships - Whether it is with my girlfriend, my brother, my parents, my friends or any other person that I come in contact with, it is important that I delight first in understanding them and their heart before expressing my own. Mutual understanding is the goal. It is important to get my thoughts and desires out into the open, but not at the cost of not being able to understand the person across from me. Not at the cost of being a fool.
2) Academics - I am about to enter into the PhD program in Philosophy at St Louis University this fall. One problem that is really easy to fall into, especially as a new entrant into the academic world, is to think that you have all the answers. This makes it incredibly easy to enter classrooms or philosophical discussions with an attitude towards expressing one's own thoughts rather than trying to gain understanding. The goal becomes not to learn more, but to impress your colleagues. The verse helps humble me to know that the best course of action is to seek understanding first and not to become a fool.
On a side note, I highly recommend reading through the Proverbs on a regular basis. There are 31 chapters, so read the chapter for that day of the month. For instance, I read Proverbs 18 today, because it is June 18th. It is super easy to keep track of. You never fall behind. Just read the chapter for that day. None of the chapters are that long, but they are packed full of practical advice for life. It is a great way to start the day.