Have you ever had your day spoiled by learning someone said something unkind about you? How can you deal with it? Today’s devotional (be sure to read the Scripture) will help you. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (ESV)
21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. 22 Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
“You cannot stop people’s tongues, and therefore the best thing to do is to stop your own ears and never mind what is spoken.” [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Lectures To My Students, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, n.d.), p. 321]
“Wisdom teaches us…(v. 21): ‘Take no heed to all words that are spoken; set not thy heart to them. Vex not thyself at men’s peevish reflections upon thee, or suspicions of thee, but be as a deaf man that hears not, Psalm 38:13, 14. Be not solicitous or inquisitive to know what people say of thee; if they speak well of thee, it will feed thy pride, if ill, it will stir up thy passion. See therefore that thou approve thyself to God and thy own conscience, and then heed not what men say of thee. Hearkeners, we say, seldom hear good of themselves; if thou heed every word that is spoken, perhaps thou wilt hear thy own servant curse thee when he thinks thou dost not hear him… Thou mayest stand behind the curtain and hear it thyself, mayest hear thyself not only blamed and despised, but cursed, the worst evil said of thee and wished to thee, and that by a servant, one of the meanest rank, of the abjects, nay, by thy own servant, who should be an advocate for thee, and protect thy good name as well as thy other interests. Perhaps it is a servant thou hast been kind to, and yet he requites thee thus ill, and this will vex thee; thou hadst better not have heard it…. The good names of the greatest lie much at the mercy even of the meanest….
“Wisdom puts us in mind of our own faults (v. 22): ‘Be not enraged at those that speak ill of thee, or wish ill to thee, for oftentimes, in that case, if thou retire into thyself, thy own conscience will tell thee that thou thyself hast cursed others, spoken ill of them and wished ill to them, and thou art paid in thy own coin.’… We must show all meekness towards all men, for we ourselves were sometimes foolish, Titus 3:2, 3; Matthew 7:1, 2; James 3:1, 2.” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary III, (Peabody, MA: Hendriksen Publishers, n.d.), p. 841]
“In the closing verses (21-22), Koheleth makes personal his point about our flawed conduct with a two-pronged admonition. First, in integrity (p. 171] we should close our ‘heart’ if not our ears to what other people say about us. To take seriously the words of others by mulling them over is to put ourselves at risk of being hurt or of judging others harshly. The picture of the ‘servant cursing’ (or perhaps ‘demeaning’ or ‘disparaging’) the owner makes the situation both realistic and graphic. Second, in integrity we should face our own propensity to sin by remembering the times, whether by tongue or by thought (‘heart’ we have spoken badly of others and heaped harsh wishes on their heads.” [David Hubbard, “Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon,” Mastering the Old Testament, (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991)p. 171-172]
“Indifference to idle praise or idle blame becomes the possessor of true wisdom. For him, to use St. Paul’s words, ‘It is a very small thing to be judged by man’s judgment’ (1 Cor. iv.3)…. The motto of the old Scottish family…espressos this indifference to the opinion of others in the most pointed form: ‘They say. What say they?’ Let them say.’” [Gray & Adams Bible Commentary edited by James C. Gray and George M. Adams III, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1903), 29]
“As therefore thou, being far from perfectly ‘just’ thyself, hast much to be forgiven by God, do not take too strict account…of words spoken against thee by others…” [A. R. Fausset, “Ecclesiastes; or, the Preacher,” A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. A. Fausset, and David Brown II, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, n.d.), p. 531]