by Tammy Phillips
December 19, 2021

Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.  For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others.” (Ecclesiastes 7:22 NKJV)

 We often take the words of others about us too seriously. People say thoughtless things. We say things about others that we would not want them to take to heart. 

Recently, Austin Peay played Ole Miss at Oxford in football.  My son, Parker, his fiancé, Caroline, his good friend, Alex Hicks, and I were sitting on the visitor’s side in the corner of the endzone opposite the Ole Miss student section.  My son played baseball at Austin Peay.  He is extremely competitive and also a big supporter of APSU.  The Peay played Ole Miss tight for a little while.  Parker and a handful of parents seemed to be the only cheering section for APSU out of about 48, 000 football fans.  Parker’s six-foot-four self was not sitting near the parents so every time he stood up, he drew the attention of the opposing student section.  They jeered back and forth for a while.  The words got a little ugly from the Ole Miss fans.  It did not stop my son from cheering on his team. 

Out of nowhere a policeman showed up and asked to speak to Parker.  Mama bear arose in me, but Parker told me he had it. The policeman asked him to be the bigger man and to quit enticing on the Ole Miss students.  He complied.

Somehow unbeknownst to Alex and I, Parker disappeared for a long while.  When we I questioned where he was, Caroline told us he somehow had communicated and was going to meet the one specific guy that he was jeering with.  WHAT?  A few minutes passed and Alex was about to go look for Park, but then I spotted him.  He was in the middle of the Ole Miss student section making peace with the guys that he had been warring with before.

Parker followed the wisdom of  Solomon, although I am not sure he was aware of Solomon’s advice.  He did not take to heart everything his rivals had said because he knew in his  own heart that he had “cursed” them just the same.  He chose to ignore their words.  They chose to ignore his and make peace.

If we all could learn this wise lesson in the time and space of a football game, what a different world this would be.

I enCOURAGE you to sometimes just simply overlook unkind and thoughtless things others say and do.  Let the words roll right off your heart.  We do not want to be judged by our worst words.   In return, we should not judge others by theirs.  There was an old idiom, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words only hurt when we take them and allow them to inflict pain.  If we choose to ignore the fiery darts, we can maintain our peace.

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