Ecclesiastes 7:9 Offended Quickly

Blowing a flame

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 

Being offended by something is common among many people. They like their way of doing things and way of thinking. When someone else does or thinks differently, they are offended that someone could be that way.

Words are often spoken that are truth, but contain some ugly fact about someone or some event in them. People desiring to forget the past, will often quickly take offense to what is said, forgetting the real truth.

Once a person becomes provoked or offended, they will often quickly say or do something that is wrong in retaliation. This is where many fights and battles begin, is in retaliation to an offense.

In this passage today, one is told not to be quickly provoked. The anger that arises in provocation is something that only fools possess.

Sadly many believers are very quickly provoked to anger. They will very quickly take offense with the way a non-believer lives or wants things to be. Instead of showing love and care, they strike back in anger with words and sometimes actions.

This not only happens outside the church, but often occurs within the church. People take offense with the pastor or other church members. They do not like the way something is said and get angry. Then they talk about the offense under the pretense of care or concern, but rather as gossip and causing division among the believers.

Every believer is supposed to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. One of the results of being filled with His Holy Spirit is the fruit of peace. This believer will be at peace and remain calm when someone tries to provoke or offend him.

Jesus had every reason to be provoked, but He remained in control and did not retaliate in anger.

Allow yourself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and filled with the peace Jesus gives you. There will be days when someone will do or say something to provoke you to anger. Sometimes this will be on purpose, other times it is just who they are.

Do not allow yourself to be quickly angered, becoming a fool and making a bad choice in word or action. Allow God to control your emotions in the situation and choose to walk the path of love and compassion.

Allow God’s peace to reign in your heart and mind.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your heart; that God will give you strength to overlook an offense; that God will help you to chose love over retaliation; and that your choices will reveal God’s character of love. 

Acts 17:16 Distressed

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Acts 17:16

Paul had left Berea for Athens. He stayed there waiting for Silas and Timothy to arrive. While he waited there he had a chance to see the city. The one thing he noticed was all of the idols located everywhere. This distressed him a lot.

Paul was provoked to a righteous anger. It disturbed him greatly at having to see all the idols located everywhere. He was provoked to anger about the idols.

Christians have to walk through towns and cities today that are not really any different from what Paul was walking through in Athens. The main difference is that in Athens the people actually called the idols their gods. Today people do not call their idols “gods”, they just worship them by giving their whole life to the “idols”.

People will spend all their money, time and energy to have these idols today. These idols can be jobs, money, houses, cars, beauty, fame, looks, friends, or most anything else. These things are their gods because they give their lives to them.

Many Christians will also fall into doing the same things. They look to things and positions more than to the God who gave it all.

Any thing that gets more time, money and thought than God is an idol. As a believer in Jesus you must get rid of all idols in your life.

As you walk through your town or city do you really see the idols that are all around you? What does it do to your heart? It should break your heart to see people living for these false gods. You should be reaching out to the people as Paul did to point them to the real God.

It is easy to put blinders on and ignore the idols around you, but is that what Jesus would do? You are to be a witness of Jesus to the world. If you ignore the idols, you are choosing to not be that witness.

Choose today to get rid of all idols in your life. Choose today to point people to Jesus.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to the idols worshipped around you; that you will see any idols in your own life; that God will strengthen you to get rid of idols in your life; that God will guide you to be a witness to the world about Jesus; and that many will be drawn to Jesus through you.