Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 NIV
21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—
22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 EXB
21 Don’t ·listen [L give your heart] to everything people say, or you might hear your servant insulting you.
22 ·You know [L Your heart knows] that many times you have insulted others.
Including the EXB version once again for the literal information provided inside the brackets with the superscript L and there we learn there are two hearts, not one, in the literal translation.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘renting out space in your head‘? It means simply you are letting thoughts, ideas, images, etc. take up space and time in your mind, in your head, in your heart. If you are giving your attention to every word people around you say, you are going to be giving up space in your head, mind, heart usually for free and to the exclusion of other more desired thoughts.
Then there is your servant (spouse or child) who you may hear cursing or insulting you. Who better to actually know and reveal your faults. With this refocus in this verse we come to an awareness of why we were listening to everything in the first place – PRIDE. We wanted to hear good things being said about ourselves. We wanted to rent out space in our heads to a large billboard that says great and wonderful things about us all the while imagining others are doing the same.
Not a good place to be for we know in our own hearts that many times we ourselves have cursed or insulted others. We want to be angry with those who bring us back to reality about our own shortcomings, but know better because we have done the same when it comes to others
If we are fortunate we have those in our lives who will point out or shortcomings in a gentle and loving manner or not so gentle and loving when necessary. My bride is a great example. Whenever I start enjoying compliments coming my way too much, she simply asks, “Shall I get out the butter out so you can get your head through the doorway.” What happens then? I become grounded in reality once again.
However, there are words we should listen to which will keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. These words are found throughout the Bible and speak to us if we will only listen. Two examples
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21b
He says:“I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18d
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23
Bottom line: There is a God and you are not Him. When we are praised for what we have achieved, we should be praising God for gifting us with the ability to accomplish whatever we have achieved. No matter how hard we had to work to accomplish an achievement, it was His gifting of perseverance that made it possible.
It’s Friday. Have a Great Weekend and remember to Go To Church, spend some time in His Word.