Ru­in­ing a good re­la­tion­ship

The Covington News - - Religion -

Would you like to know how to ruin a good re­la­tion­ship with some­one? Would you like to know how to de­stroy the trust some­one has in you? It might sur­prise you that gos­sip is one of the most se­ri­ous threats to hav­ing and keep­ing long- last­ing friend­ships. Think about it for a minute. In your work place, in your church, your so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, and in your neigh­bor­hood, chances are that gos­sip has in­ter­fered with the friend­ships of many peo­ple you know.

Web­ster de­fines gos­sip as a “ tri­fling, of­ten ground­less ru­mor, usu­ally of a per­sonal, sen­sa­tional or in­ti­mate na­ture; idle talk.” It is pass­ing on in­for­ma­tion about some­one else in a man­ner which puts them down and ques­tions their rep­u­ta­tion.

The Bi­ble has a lot to about a per­son who gos­sips. Proverbs 11: 13 — “A gos­sip be­trays a con­fi­dence, but a trust­wor­thy man keeps a se­cret.” Proverbs 16: 28 — “A per­verse man stirs up dis­sen­sion, and a gos­sip sep­a­rates close friends.” Proverbs 18: 8 — “ The words of a gos­sip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s in­most parts.” Proverbs 20: 19 - “A gos­sip be­trays a con­fi­dence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” Proverbs 26: 20 — “ With­out wood a fire goes out; with­out gos­sip a quarrel dies down” ( NIV).

The Old Tes­ta­ment He­brew word for gos­sip lit­er­ally means “ tale- bearer” — one who has a tale to tell about some­one else. This per­son likes to pick up as many sto­ries as she or he can and take it from per­son to per­son sow­ing dis­cord and re­veal­ing se­crets to which she or he has been en­trusted. Friend­ships are ru­ined. Jobs are lost. Fam­i­lies are hurt. Church fel­low­ships di­vided. In the mean­time the gos­sip moves on like there are no con­se­quences.

Fol­low­ers of Je­sus can get sucked into this be­hav­ior as well, and that is why the Bi­ble warns against it. I have found three ways to han­dle gos­sip when it comes my way. First, I ask my­self: “ Would I share this in­for­ma­tion with an­other per­son in front of the per­son about whom it per­tains?” If I wouldn’t, then I should not pass it on. Sec­ond, I re­al­ize that I am car­ry­ing two buck­ets — a bucket of gas and a bucket of wa­ter. I can put gas on the in­for­ma­tion I re­ceive, or I can put wa­ter on in­for­ma­tion. Third, I try to re­mem­ber the Golden Rule which Je­sus gave to us: “ Do to oth­ers as you would have them do to you” ( Luke 6: 31, NIV).

Dr. Fo­ley Beach is the rec­tor and pas­tor of Holy Cross Angli­can Church in Lo­ganville. The A Word from the Lord ra­dio broad­cast can be heard in Hall County each Sun­day morn­ing at 10: 00 on WDUN ( 550 AM) or any­time at www. aword­fromth­elord. org. You may re­spond to this ar­ti­cle or send your ques­tions to fo­ley­beach@ aword­fromth­elord. org or visit www. aword­fromth­elord. org.

Dr. Fo­ley Beach

Colum­nist

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