Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wanting to Install a Gossip Check

"...take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."... James 1:19

Will we, as Christians, ever live by that verse? Will we ever stop believing every word the AP publishes and then immediately go shooting off our mouths (or madly scribbling in our blogs) like Commandos for God?

Those have been my thoughts today ever since I heard on tv one more Christian in the public eye (read: easy target) point out that he'd been misquoted (again) by the Press. He held the proof in his hands and the rare hurt in his voice hurt me, too.

I don't know about you, but it's not enough for me just to have a spell-check in my blog. No, I want a gossip check, too. I want to click on an icon and have it zero in on anything--anything--which even resembles gossip--and then delete it.

I so do not want to be guilty of causing hurt in peoples' hearts and voices like the hurt I heard today--a hurt, a sound, which haunts me still, even late tonight. I cringe to even think of parroting a bad report about a specific person in my blog without, first, checking out his/her side of the story. (If you catch me doing that in the future, please call me on it.)

Instead, I want to remember all the times I valiantly declared certain things were true years ago, yet now, I don't even believe those certain things are true at all.

I want to recall how many times I have spoken without thinking first of how it might make my listeners feel... how many times I madly ran with only half the story.

I want to remember how many times I have changed my mind... how many times I've so needed peoples' patience as I grew in God.

I want to mind my own business--to not feel like I have a right to voice an opinion each time someone--anyone-- in the limelight changes the way she wears her hair or her clothes or if a man chooses to grow a beard. Heaven help me if I think it's my business how others raise their children or what car they choose to drive or what type of home they buy.

Why? Because, no matter what kind of spin I may put on it or no matter how I may share it--it's all gossip. It's all a bunch of stones being thrown from my hands.

And the Bible has much to say about both gossip and throwing stones--and it's not good, light-hearted or encouraging.

Well, even though gossip checks haven't officially been invented (have they?) I'm going to, from this day forward, run a manual one.

God help me.

"For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." ... Matthew 12:37

"So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers." ... 3 John 1:10

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