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Posts Tagged ‘gossip’

eye_iris

Several years ago, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood had a hit song talking about how significant others saw a couple who were tempted as better than they really are. There are many ways that we are impacted by how other’s see us and how we see them. Sometimes it’s in a positive way where someone can speak into our lives something they see encouraging us when we are down on ourselves. Sometimes, it not very positive at all.

What is on my heart today is on the negative side. I believe it’s something we all deal with from children to adults and often times, don’t realize it. It’s when we see another person in a negative light, not because they did anything wrong to us but because someone we are close to doesn’t like them. Our friend tells us gossip, complaints, and negative things about someone and now, you are starting to see them “through another’s eyes”.

I caught myself doing this before. Once upon a time, I was deeply involved in camping ministry. A friend of mine was also on staff and he did not like his boss. He would tell me things the boss would say, do and how he would undercut ministry from happening.

Up to that point, I thought his boss was a decent guy and had a heart for ministry. However, as I heard these things he said and did, I pulled away from him and was really disappointed in him.

Years later, I had seen enough trends to know my friend tended to be critical towards people and often time to cover his own shortcomings. I realized there was a chance he was trashing his boss to cover up for his own struggles. When I looked at the boss’ legacy of ministry, I could not see one thing negative except for things told to me by one person. I had wrongly judged a man due to seeing him through another’s eyes.

I invited that boss to lunch even though I had not seen him for over a decade. He was very suspicious because he could tell I was distant from him and had a bad view of him back in the day. However, when I apologized to him for believing what I was told, not coming to him to get his side of things, and being distant from him for years, he was truly moved. The scales fell off both of our eyes about one another and we had a great conversation for almost two hours about life, ministry and more.

As we talked, I realized I had chosen poorly and lost years of having this mentor in my life.

That said, I also see this in my life where I am the person being seen through another’s eyes. Being a pastor, I enjoy many loving and caring relationships that we are blessed by. At the same time, it puts you in a role where you become the victim of this trend at times.

There has been more than once that it becomes evident that someone pulls away from you. It could be because they are upset with someone I did, it could be their own insecurity (like above), or it could be one of a thousand different reasons.

When someone slips into that mode where they start to pull away, the next thing I usually notice is the people closest to them start to pull away as well. Not because they have an issue but because they start to see me through another’s eyes.

I believe all of us have been on the receiving and giving end of this trend. It’s very easy to fall into. However, often times we find that we are judging or being judged not fairly but because of gossip, complaining, or misrepresentation.

So, what do we do?

What I do know is that I wish I went to the “boss” much earlier and just had a conversation with him about what I was hearing. Not in a way that sold out my friend at the time but in a way I could hear his side. I bet additional communication would have made a big difference to the situation.

If you find yourself reading this and realize that there is someone in your life who you were friends with, was a mentor, or a family member that you have pulled away from only because of what others have told you …. maybe it’s time to take a pause. Maybe it’s time to talk to them and see what you find. You might reunite with a brother or sister through your own eyes instead of blinding yourself with someone else’s vision.

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18: 17

tsflife.com

 

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gossip-1

Over my years of ministry, sometimes it seems like there are two types of people. There are those who recognize gossip in themselves and work to grow and there are those who don’t realize they are a gossip and continue in their destructive ways.

Gossip is a killer. We may try to write off our own gossip by saying we are just blowing off steam, claim we should be able to say what we want to others that are close friends, or claim that it doesn’t happen often.

The problem is that usually the victims of the gossip usually find out and are hurt at the betrayal. The blowing off steam becomes starting fires. Talking to close friends becomes having less friends (at least friends of value) as they pull away from you. “It doesn’t happen often” becomes a quick defense but not an honest one as we slip more into negativity and feed the beast of gossip over and over again.

So, the question is, are you a gossip? Well, let’s look at the definition….
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Words

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
Proverbs 15: 1-2

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” Proverbs 15:7

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lordbut gracious words are pure.” Proverbs 15: 26

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Provers 15: 28

The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15: 33

A small sampling from Proverbs 15 reminds us how powerful words are. We may still remember the chant “stick and stones may break my bones” but we know words have more power than we wish they held. We are losing the art of gentle words in our culture and at times, even in the life of Christians and the church.

If you find you are having a problem with your words, may I suggest a few things…

Understand it’s a heart issue

Sometimes we try to justify ourselves by saying “That’s just who I am” or “I’m just like my mom (or dad)” and continue on. While we can have in our personalty certain tendencies that lead us to be critical or negative, it doesn’t mean it’s ok. Your words still alienate, separate, and crush others at times. If we roll with our earthly tendencies and don’t work them into submission to God’s ways, we continue a cycle that impacts others and ourselves.

Understand you are hurting others

You might think you are direct and others should appreciate it but I can’t tell you how many people come to me for life counseling because the anger, hurt, or weight they are feeling because of someone in their life dumping on them in unloving ways (again, often times Christians).

If you find that you enjoy the emotional release of unloading on others, there’s a good chance you are hurting them.

If you find that you enjoy talking about frustrations and grips with others to people other than the ones you struggle with, there’s a good chance you are hurting the person outside the loop and the one within it.

If you find that you need to tear others down to build yourself up, your just hurting everyone including how others see you.

Understand things can turn around

You have the chance to earn others seeing you different. You may not be aware but you may have some nicknames you would rather not know about. However, by following the proverbs above, you can be know as an “encourager”!

Some of the words above can be foreign to us in our speech … soft, gentle, and pure. However, through discipline, taking a breath and speaking with the Spirit’s lead; you too can be righteous and ponder what words (and heart) to embrace. It just starts with humbling yourself, leaning into the ways of God and letting Him raise you up.

Words lead to broken marriages. Words lead to split churches. Words lead to failed friendships. Words lead to insecurity and loss.

Words lead to freedom. Words brings unity. Words heal old wounds. Words have power.

Use yours in the light of the Christ to honor Him and love others.

If we can help you with this in any way, please let us know.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Tom Hypes
theshepherdsfellowship.org

 

 

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While we may quote the phrase “Sticks and stone may break my bones, words will never hurt me” as kids, we know that’s not true in real life. Words have power to build people up and the power to tear others down. They have the grace that can lead others to the Lord and the evil that can crush others when they are seeking love.

As we continue our study through the letter of James, he has strong teaching when it comes to our words, accountability, and the key to finding freedom when it comes to our speech.

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Most of us have seen the pain caused when communication goes south in a marriage, relationship, church, family, and beyond. Sometimes the culprit was avoidance, gossip, anger or a hard heart that led to painful days and broken relationships.

This week, we dig into proper communication through the words of Christ in our relationships and church families. We will branch out into other church communication areas that often break unity as well.

If you have been hurt in a relationship or church before due to bad communication, you are not alone. As we continue to prepare ourselves for what God is doing next with our local church family, we continue to strengthen our foundation by addressing these common bumps that can destroy people’s emotions and relationships if not handled well before they start gaining ground.

Come be part of the study as we pray it will help you have a stronger and more freeing foundation as well.

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When we were young, we would chant the age old phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” However, when we are honest about it, we know that rings hollow when it comes to our hearts.

One of the most powerful skills we have is our speech; power to heal and power to destroy. The Bible is clear in it’s encouragement and instruction of how to handle our words.

Dig in for some healing on your hurts and to explore how you can be one who speaks life into the darkness of hurting lives around you (and at times, in your own life).

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