He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent. He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits wood may be endangered by it. If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success. (Ecclesiastes 10:8-10)
The Agent Of Our Own Destruction
One of the great lessons of life is to learn that often the problems we have are not the result of what others have done to us but what we have done to ourselves. We do not want to admit this proverbial fact but nonetheless we find ourselves in pits we have dug with our own hands. And that just does not sit well with our esteemed character of justice. As we try to tear down the character of a neighbor we find ourselves bitten by the serpent of justice. Truth be told we are kind of dumb; like a dull ax. We act surprised when we swing the ax to split wood and injure ourselves. What did we expect?
As agents of our own destruction it would behoove us to think before deciding to dig a pit for someone else. If we want to tear down someone through gossip we only poison ourselves. In the news recently a man was seriously injured when a snake (cottonmouth) bit him in the mouth and you have to wonder how that happened. If you play with snakes you will be bit. Leaving the snake alone will greatly reduce the possibility of injury (especially a vicious snake like a cottonmouth). When we decide to speak evil of our fellow worker we should not be surprised when we find ourselves in hot water. It comes around to us what we send out and makes us look foolish. Back to the proverb: a man comes along and finds us trapped in a pit. He asked, “Friend, how did you wind up in that pit?” We sheepishly answer, “I was digging it for you but I fell in.” Hmmm. Smart as a dull ax.
Wisdom teaches us the folly of our actions to hurt others when we only hurt ourselves more. As someone said, “It is best to remain silent and thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.” Think how many times in our lives (I speak to myself) that we were agents of our own hurt because we sought to hurt someone else? Silly isn’t it. The Lord gave us two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we talk so we will stay out of pits dug by our own hands. Now where did I put that shovel?