The other morning while I was reading my Bible I was reminded of a great lesson. I was reading in the book of Ecclesiastes which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon is believed to be one of the wisest men to ever live and if you read about him you will find that he had EVERYTHING! Seriously, if you can think it, he had it! I recently read that if you were to take his yearly payment of gold it would equate to 1.24 billion dollars a year, and this is just one of his many sources of income.
But even with all of his wealth, fortune and fame, King Solomon struggles with the meaning of life. This is the underlying premise of why I want to Be Rich in life and not just in my wealth. However, the lesson I was reminded of this particular day was to mind my own business!
How many times have you gotten upset because you allowed yourself to listen in on the small talk of those around you? Walking down the hall you hear your employees or fellow workers talking and it just so happens to be about you. Your ears perk up and you listen in to what is being said. Or maybe someone meets you for the first time and says something similar to this: “Man you are not at all what I expected. I heard that you were much different.” The first thing you ask is, “Well, what did you hear?”, and, “Who said it?”
21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—
22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
This verse gives us great advice to follow! I can speak from experience on this topic. If you ever succeed in anything in life you will have rumors, and sometimes even lies, said about you. I could give you many accounts of stories that were told about my business partner and I. There have been rumors of illegal activities, terrible ethics, cheating, lying and countless other accusations. And I would be lying if I said these never bothered me. In fact, these rumors have been extremely troubling to me and have caused a lot of stress.
Please take these words to heart. I wish I would have taken the advice of King Solomon and turned a deaf ear to the rumors around me. I knew in my heart and before God that I was not guilty of these rumors. Instead of examining and trying to find out what others were saying, I should have stayed focus on doing what was right and growing myself and my business.
The natural desire is to want to know what others are saying about us. The problem is that often what others are saying is not what they really think or feel. In verse 22 King Solomon says, “for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” I can think back on times in my life when I engaged in conversations that I wish I hadn’t where I said things that I really didn’t mean or even believe. Recognizing and taking ownership of your own failures in these behaviors will also help you maintain a forgiving and merciful heart towards those who speak wrongly of you.
As bad as it may sound, it’s a reality! Expecting it will help eliminate shock and poor reactions.
When you hear things being said about you that are not true, assume first that the rumors come from a misunderstanding of who you are. This allows you to drop your defenses a bit and approach the situation from the higher ground.
If someone openly tells you what is being said then stop there and do not pry further. If you know that there is no truth to this rumor than let it go and move on. You know who you are and that is all you need to know.
When you are confronted with bad talk consider where it came from. This is also a great reason to have a mentor in your life. These are people you highly respect and who hold you accountable. These are the voices you want to listen to. Remember, constructive criticism is much different than a rumor!
We’ve all heard people say, “Well, they’re just jealous!”, when someone else doesn’t like them. And although it isn’t always the reason for gossip, there are times when that statement is true. When you experience high success, many people find it hard to embrace. Sometimes it is easier to find an excuse for someone else’s success so that another’s lack of success doesn’t feel so bad. Once you realize this it becomes much easier to identify.
My business partner says this often and he is correct! When lies or rumors are being said about you or your business, keep doing what is right, keep working hard and stay focused on your goals. Cream will rise to the top and nothing is a better gauge of your character then NOT engaging in the arguments and rumors that others start.
So, mind your own business! You do not answer to everyone around you, you answer to God, your family, and those that are closest to you. Stay focused on what really matters and resist the urge to bend an ear to negativity. You will not only live a life with less stress and enjoyment, but you will also have much more time to rise to the top!
What are some ways that you deal with rumors or negative talk? Click here to leave a comment.