Are you exhausted from trying to meet everyone’s expectations? There is freedom not to live our lives in vain controlled by the fear of man.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
Second Corinthians 11:19-21
The book of Ecclesiastes closes with a final overarching statement about man’s duty. Fear God and keep His commandments because you will face Him in judgment. It seems to contradict the oft-repeated phrase, “All is vanity.” All does seem to be vain, at times. Hard work may not be fully rewarded and crime may pay in the short run. But all is not really vanity, because, God is going to judge every deed, not only those which are easily observable but the secret ones, too. When we meet God, He will apply full justice.
Paul continues to admonish the Corinthians about their gullible trust in fools, those phony apostles who were doing Satan’s work. He stoops to their level, in a sense, by defending himself and showing that his suffering demonstrates the authenticity of his calling by God.
The main reason people “gladly bear with fools” is that they desire to please them. They fear rejection by others, even those whose opinion clearly is of no consequence. They do not fear God, but fear man so they are easily manipulated, coerced, and led to foolishness. Proverbs 29:25 shows that the way to freedom from this malady is by replacing it with the trust in God.
Think about it
Do you suffer fools gladly? Turn away from this through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for this sin and gives His forgiven, Spirit-empowered disciples a proper fear of God. This is the duty we owe to Him, our Creator and Judge. Those who fear God may suffer for it in this world. But in the end God will approve them. He is the only One whose opinion matters. Escape the vain life.