Let’s Gossip!

As usual, the teachers of religious law were debating. This time one teacher thought to ask Jesus which commandment is greatest.
Jesus responded: “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The lord our God is the one and only lord.And you must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’

To love God above all else. Makes sense! But Jesus did not stop there.

The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

To love people – equally important.

If we had to rank the two ourselves I’m sure most would say that order seems about right. God first; people second. And mostly for this reason: People can be difficult to love. Relationships are hard! But if we want to exemplify Christ on this earth, we have to learn how to love people – and love them well!

There’s not a cure all solution on how to do this, but there are practical things you can do to help you love people better.

Gossip Well
If someone is gossiping to you about someone else, I guarantee you they are saying something about you behind your back. Even if they are your best friend… gossipers gossip.

Talk good about people to people!
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Prov 16:28

Let’s say I am conversing with a coworker ‘Mary’. In the conversation ‘Steve’ comes up. If Mary begins to ‘gossip’ about Steve you have a job to do – shut it down! The best way to do that is to gossip well. Say something great about that person that you like. This will often disarm the gossip and set the conversation on a positive course.

What’s the point:

You build credibility with Mary. That relationship will grow. They will begin to trust you and probably confide in you. Why? Because she knows you won’t talk about her behind your back.

This may take time to build up the equity, especially if you have participated in gossiping about others, but don’t beat yourself up. Make a change today!
This will take time and practice, but you will notice a difference in your relationship with Mary and with how you view Steve. The more you do it the more you will find yourself gossiping well.

Talk well about people behind their back!

If you think it twice, say it
How many times have you had a good thought about someone? Let me answer that… Everyday! (For most people)
If you have a good thought about someone tell them, no matter how ‘small’.

When we have a good thought often we think ‘they already know that’. Guess what? No, they don’t. A lot of us have insecurities whether we admit it or not. So we all want to hear great things about ourselves. So tell me us.

“She has great hair”
“He has a great smile”
“He is really great with customers”
“She is really good at anything to do with numbers”

“My spouse looks very pretty/handsome right now”

Make those thoughts a statement!

Let’s admit it: We all like to hear nice things about ourselves.

Side note: Learn how to say thank you. If you’re on the receiving end, please just say thank you and don’t try to justify why they said what they said.

Listen
This is a tough one! I can say this confidently as a husband…

Sometimes, A lot of times Most of the time people just want to be heard. Obviously, you have to use discretion based on the situation but people want to be heard. Stop giving them an answer. Just listen. Let people give you the permission to give advice.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak James 1:19

All of this isn’t rocket science. Neither are they hard, steadfast rules. And there is so much more complexity to relationships.
But if you put these three things into practice they will move ‘the needle’ of any relationship towards a more healthy status.

 

-JC
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