'Do Not Take To Heart Everything People Say'

God warns us to be careful of what we say. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). “Every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). “No one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Few things have as much potential for harm as our power of speech.

At the same time, God warns us not to be overly sensitive to what others say. Consider these words: “Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your heart has known that even you have cursed others” (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22, NKJV).

Is God telling us not to be careful listeners? No. But He is tell­ing us not to let ourselves be wounded by every careless word, critical remark, or offhand comment that falls from another’s lips. Don’t be quick to take offense. Don’t assume evil motives on the part of others. Don’t put the worst possible construction on what they say. Treat others as you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). You just may find yourself happier if you do.

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