Don’t eavesdrop on others-you may hear your servant laughing at you. For you know how often you yourself have laughed at others. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
Children enjoy the endless possibilities of entertainment found in a Spy Kit. My students often buy these with the intentions of spying on siblings, parents, or friends. Ecclesiastes warns us that we may hear hurtful words if we eavesdrop on others. Eavesdropping can certainly lead us to overhear something about ourselves we don’t want to hear, but we also need to consider how our own words would be received by eavesdropping ears. Often we are quick to be angry or hurt by someone talking about us, but we never stop to consider how often we commit the same offense against others. Maybe someone irritates us, and we vent to a friend saying things we would never want the one it’s about to hear. We are quick to condemn those who wrong us, but how soon we forget that we are often guilty of the same offense.
Proverbs 18:19 says, “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city.” The person you are talking about may not be in sight, but like a child with a spy kit, they may overhear the words you speak. We can’t take back the pain caused by words spoken. We need to think before we speak, and as our mothers’ always told us, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.”
Beware of Spy Kits–protect yourself by not eavesdropping and protect others by guarding your own words.