Check the Facts Jack!
‘Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.’
Morris Mandel in Bits & Pieces, June, 1990, p. 22
Recently, we went through a wonderful trial, that occurred when another person accused us of some financial mismanagement, that was totally untrue. Gossip is like a serpents venom, it poisons people against you, and may take years to rebuild trust in relationships.
Just because ‘Everyone is saying it’, does not make it true!
The Bible says we are kings and priest unto God, and we must conduct ourselves as royalty!
A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
As leaders we hear a lot of stories, and we need to judge not only actions, but motives. Had a situation last year, where we wanted to donate to a certain ministry, and one of the businesses needed to know exactly where the building materials donated were going. So, I sent him an email with the ministers name and location of the construction project we were planning, because he grew up in that state, and knew the area. Seems another person who ‘wanted to get involved’ asked for the material list I sent my former client, so I sent it to them. They got involved alright, instead of helping, they accused me of ‘taking up offerings in the name of the other ministry’, and then spread the ‘rumor’ of this to many, many other ministries. I could not believe they had done this, so I attempted to meet with them, to discuss it, but they have not returned telephone calls nor emails since then.
As far as I’m concerned, I have forgiven them, and am aggressively using my faith to believe the best of them, and for them, declaring these two verses over their lives:
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Faith works by love, and so I am using my faith on purpose for their growth and instruction in the things of God.
Check the facts before you judge leader, it is for your glory and promotion.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
In the midst of my particular trial, I had a good friend of mine, who is studying to be a rabbi, who lives in Jerusalem, call me. I told him what I was going through, and he said, “Interesting. Chris, did you know that here, in Israel, we take character assassination of more consequence than even murder? He then reminded me of a story I had heard before, he had heard in synagogue:
If you don’t say it, they can’t repeat it. Yiddish folklore offers a telling tale about gossip-makers. One such man had told so many malicious untruths about the local rabbi that, overcome by remorse, he begged the rabbi to forgive him. “And, Rabbi, tell me how I can make amends.” The rabbi sighed, “Take two pillows, go to the public square and there cut the pillows open. Wave them in the air. Then come back.” The rumormonger quickly went home, got two pillows and a knife, hastened to the square, cut the pillows open, waved them in the air and hastened back to the rabbi’s chambers. “I did just what you said, Rabbi!” “Good.” The rabbi smiled. “Now, to realize how much harm is done by gossip, go back to the square…” “And?” “And collect all your feathers.”
From Hooray for Yiddish.
Looks like the work of this person has blown feathers all over America. Gotta believe the blood of Jesus can wash away their mess…I need to believe what I preach!
Here are a couple of thoughts, before speaking and decision making:
I once formed a mutual encouragement fellowship at a time of stress in one of my pastorates. The members subscribed to a simple formula applied before speaking of any person or subject that was perhaps controversial.
T–Is it true? H–Is it helpful? I–Is it inspiring? N–Is it necessary? K–Is it kind?
If what I am about to say does not pass those tests, I will keep my mouth shut! And it worked!
Alan Redpath, A Passion for Preaching.
God is love, and He will work it all out, as only He can.
‘Father, I come before you, determined to walk free from offense, and in Your love. Give me grace to see correctly into situations, and before I judge, to investigate to see what is being done, and why. May I victoriously obey you, and press forward towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, Amen.’