Grin and Bear It
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. ~Ecclesiastes 10:4
One of the greatest challenges in life is what to do when another person becomes angry with you. It is even more challenging when that person is someone in authority to whom you are in subjection. If we have been on the receiving end of verbal chastening and threats, our fleshly tendency is to leave and find “new pasture to graze in.” However, Solomon gives us a strong word of exhortation on how to deal with someone who is difficult to work for, report to, or live with. Let us see the exhortation to grin and bear it.
We see the animosity.
“If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee….” Someone rising up against you is someone who is resentful of you, regardless if you did something wrong. It could be a person whose personality is abrasive with everyone. It could be someone who has an unreasonable expectation of you in terms of performance or non-performance. Sadly, sometimes, it can be racial or gender bias. Sometimes, it is someone who will not forgive you for something you supposedly did. The point is that in life, we cannot avoid having to deal with people who have a spirit of animosity and who bring railing attacks against us.
We see the advice.
Solomon gives biblical advice when we are on the receiving end of attack. First, stay in your place. It might be difficult, but don’t pack up and leave. Our human nature wants out whenever things get hot. We cannot see ourselves working or staying where the person who attacked us has an evil eye against us. We would rather find a new job, separate in our marriage, or find a new church. God says, “Leave not thy place.” The second thing he emphasizes is yielding. This means to be gentle and give deference to. Instead of reacting to the attack, we are being exhorted to have a good and teachable spirit. We can yield by saying: “Thank you for being honest and letting me know that. I will do my best to do better.” We can yield by writing a note thanking the person for correcting us and desiring to correct whatever he thought we did wrong. We can yield by having a servant’s heart and seeking to exceed the person’s expectations by doing better, worker harder, and being more productive than we were before. In effect, we are instructed to grin and bear it. Take it on the chin, and have a spirit of endurance.
We see the appeasement.
“…For yielding pacifieth great offences.” Yielding, as defined by Solomon, results in pacifying the grievance of the one attacking us and hopefully leads to conciliation. Jesus taught that if someone smites us on the cheek, we should turn the other cheek. Yielding turns the other cheek and lets the person attacking us know that we are standing up to his attack and not running from it. Over time, the other person will see us trying to work with him towards appeasement and not having an adversarial relationship. I think of when Abigail yielded to David after Nabal, her husband, insulted him. She brought food, refreshment, and sincere apologies to stay the hand of David against her household. Her yielding was a cool hand on a hot head.
If you are dealing with someone who is making your life difficult, diligently consider Solomon’s advice. Don’t quit, but stay! Don’t react, but yield with the goal of pacifying great offenses.
Have a wisdom-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 25-27