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Gossips, Slander, Life

December 30, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are many people in our lives that we may not know direct but who impacts our existence. They’re in our communities, they’re in our churches and organizations we belong to.

These folks seem to relish putting down others to make themselves feel better. They aren’t bold enough to speak to the person directly but rather go to a friend, or go to the local government or news media or a boss.

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. James 3:5-7

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6

 

No doubt, the tongue is a weapon. It can destroy lives and reputations. Gossip, slander (untruth said behind someone’s back) and spreading rumors do not build people up. How many people criticizing the way someone dresses offer to help with washing clothes? How many who criticize a poor family seek to help them rather than insult and belittle? 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are around someone who is gossiping, distance yourself. Change the subject. If you’re not the problem or the solution, stay out of it. Deal with the person directly. Of course, many gossips are too cowardly to be direct. Be it anonymous complaints or gossip in public places, the anonymous gossip harasses someone without wanting to solve the issue they profess to be concerned about.

It’s impossible to confront the party starting a rumor or report if you don’t know who the person is. Today’s society rewards anonymous complaints, without consideration to the facts behind it. The complaint need not be true to be acted on, without contacting the person except with “punishment.” 

The bigger the target the more people attack and gossip. It’s fair game right? Do unto others, indeed!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWould the gossip like people talking in that way about them? Targeting them, gathering information and maybe even befriending them solely to betray them? Would they like people disagreeing with their dress, home, lifestyle or views to the point of personal attacks?

Would they like outright lies told about them? Their kids or family threatened? These situations are not going away with studies and awareness of bullying, but seems to be increasing.

May everyone evaluate the gossips, the sources of hateful comments and distance themselves. May the source of such things change their habits and ask for forgiveness. If you don’t like something offer to change it.

Gossip tears apart communities, churches and neighbors. Is it worth it?

Most say no, and don’t want to be around such negativity. Those who enjoy it find each other and it grows. The answer? Nothing easy.

Here’s to a better and brighter 2014, devoid of nasty gossip.

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