“Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”
Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22
We have heard children sing the chorus, “Oh, be careful, little ears, what you hear.” The truth in this simple song is most important. The Scripture warns us about the danger of believing everything we hear. The information we hear and the things we believe can have a tremendous effect on our lives, emotionally as well as spiritually. We need to exercise keen discernment in how we listen. Some things we hear may hurt us. The text says, “lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.” Sometimes we would be better off not hearing certain things.
Just as importantly, we need to realize that everything we hear is not true, accurate, or to be taken seriously. Some of what we hear may be exaggerated or completely false. These verses remind us that we, too, have been guilty of saying things that should not have been said. “For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.” This is one reason the Bible speaks so strongly against talebearing and slander. The effect of what we hear, or what we say, should not be underestimated.
On the positive side, faith comes by hearing God’s Word; and encouragement can come from edifying words. Truth has the power to bolster our faith, but negative reports can diminish our confidence in God. We are benefited by accurate words and sound wisdom, but we should not take heed to “all words that are spoken.” Jesus warned Jairus not to believe the report that had been given unto him concerning the health of his daughter, but rather to believe God. How many people have been discouraged and offended by a confession that is contrary to the Word or will of God?
We need to be careful about what we hear. We can hear and believe something and thus form an opinion, only to find out later that what we had believed was not true. God instructs us about the danger of being careless listeners. Proverbs 14:15 tells us, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” It is very naive to take to heart everything we hear. Above all, we need to listen to the truth of the Word of God and godly counsel. God very clearly cautions about taking into our hearts and minds everything that we hear.