Happy is the Man
There is a rabbinic teaching that says, “Happy is the man who hears something against him, and ignores it.”
There is wisdom here. How many evils would be spoken to him, or against him, and by him closing his ears, they pass him by?
How much angst, worry, stress, anger, frustration, and conflict would fail to take root and bear its fruit contrary to godliness? If only we ignored the voice of the enemy.
The apostle Paul taught, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Ro. 12:17).
The apostle Peter taught, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (I Pet. 3:8-9).
Both of these men spoke and/or acted in ungodly ways in their lives; and both of them know what it is to be treated terribly by men. Still, they point us to the higher way.
How difficult is this lesson? We want vengeance. We want vindication. Our flesh wants to act. Yet, we must trust in the Lord, His grace, His mercy, and ultimately His justice.
In Messiah, we find our example, our inspiration, and direction when evil reaches our ears. His example is the hardest to follow; but in Him, He delivers us from such things.
We are all works in progress, and in that progress we rely on His grace. The word I’ve rendered as “happy” above is the same found in the psalms usually translated as “blessed.”
How blessed would we be if we closed our ears to the voice of the enemy, and tuned in the voice of heaven? Happy is that man, or woman.
Be well. Shalom.