“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” King Solomon, ancient King of Israel.
Lately, this quote has had a huge impact on me. I realize that often, I can be overly sensitive, reading meaning into what people don’t intend and many times making myself feel bad over something that I don’t have to feel bad about. You’d be surprised how something someone casually says can cause me to worry.
This happens often with people I care a lot about.
We all know that worrying doesn’t do us any good. I know that, and you know that. But we do it.
One way I have been helping myself when it comes to what people say and do is to talk to myself. I paraphrase Solomon’s quote above and meditate over it in my mind.
Here are different versions of what I might say to myself:
“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”
“Don’t eavesdrop on the conversation of others. What if the gossip’s about you and you’d rather not hear it? You’ve done that a few times, haven’t you—said things behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to his face?” – You know, many times, it’s better not to know what others think about you. It can make you have sleepless nights.
“Don’t listen to everything people say, or you might hear your servant insulting you. You know that many times you have insulted others.”
“Do not take seriously everything people say so that you will not hear something bad and ruin your relationship with your wife, children, family, friends, and coworkers. No one is perfect. You know that many times you have had bad thoughts and said bad things or done bad things to others”