Talk of the People
By Angela (Taylor) Godac
I’m titling this the Talk of the People and I hope it speaks to more than just me because, believe me, I AM talking to myself as I’m writing this.
In this day and age, when everything is so fragmented and emotions are being strained and drained, the last thing we need to be doing is adding to that division by letting our egos get in the way and talking degradingly about people, when now, more than ever, we need to be drawn together in the bonds of love and overlook other’s failings and differences. Let’s face it, if everyone around us were just like us, wouldn’t it be a BORING world? You really have to admit that it would. I once heard a pastor on Christian radio saying that God sometimes puts jerks in our lives to expose the jerk in us! Wow! We need to think about that sometimes when we do have people that just rub us the wrong way. And yes, there are those people that truly can just rub us and everyone else the wrong way, as they can be arrogant, know-it-alls, and just “perfect” in every way. We are to pray for them and maybe push ourselves to draw near to them. After all, they could be like that because they have been shunned in life, and like a child, even negative attention is sometimes better than no attention at all. Childhood, or even relationship dynamics are ingrained in our psyche and can cause people to express themselves or react in ways that are questionable or even abrasive to others. We should not just cast them off or talk negatively about them (hey, Angela, we should not even be talking about them!). Are we perfect? No. Are we better than they? Chances are, that answer is no. So how can we justify our actions of talking about others, which, is really called gossip? Sorry, but we cannot.
In asking Google (argh), about “gossip” I came across an interesting article, mainly, a phrase from that article, that says, “Thus far, research has, for example, shown that people were motivated to engage in gossip to bond with their group members, to entertain themselves, to exchange information, to vent emotions, and to maintain social order.” Been there, done that! .
In Jesus’ day (and now?), tax collectors were looked down upon greatly. Jesus knew that Matthew was a despised tax collector, and no doubt, the gossip flowed freely about Matthew and he was shunned, but did Jesus take the wide circle around him and avoid him or talk behind his back? No way! Jesus called Matthew to join Him and Matthew became one of the beloved twelve apostles.
Now, let’s “talk about” Judas. Jesus knew Judas, who was one of the twelve, was going to betray Him long before that betrayal took place. No doubt, Jesus prayed for a change of heart in Judas, but Satan had his talons deep in Judas’ heart. For about 3 years, Judas was involved in ministry with Jesus, all the while having a scheming mind and stealing from the treasury they accumulated in their travels. Jesus knew this, knew Judas’ heart, and still loved him! All that to say, what right do we have to cast people aside, belittle them or talk behind their backs? We need to be more like Jesus, the Defender and Lover of our souls, and less like Satan, the Accuser and liar, who is roaming about the earth like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour…scary! 1 Peter 5:8
We are to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and we shall be lifted up as it says in James 4:10. Humility is looked down upon today as a weakness, I believe, and as I said in the beginning of this dissertation, egos have gotten in the way and taken over to cause division…united we stand, divided we fall (are we falling, or rising?). We can see that in pretty much every aspect of life. Organizations, political parties, and even relationships suffer because of strong egos that can’t seem to work together. Do we believe that Jesus is happy with us when we talk behind each other’s backs, or when we try to build ourselves up to others to be better than our subjects of “conversation” (gossip!)? I think you can answer that question for yourself.
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 16:5 “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
I truly did not mean for this to come off “preachy”, but maybe the Lord intended it to be so. Not my will, but Yours, Lord.
Let me leave you with this: Let’s strive harder (and HARDER) every day to love our fellow man/woman, with the love of Jesus. Lord knows, we need to love more, forgive more, be more compassionate, and not be desensitized to these things. Quick story and then I’m finished….My husband used to get road rage in the valley like so many people do, but he also would get it here in Payson! It used to bother me and I would say, “Maybe that person who is ahead of you has been in a terrible accident and maybe this is their first, second, or third or more trip back out in a vehicle and they are being extra, extra careful and nervous after a very traumatic event.” We never know what people are going through and it is not up to us to judge them and think they should act this way or that way. Always give others the benefit of the doubt, in spite of their quirks. Once in a while some of “those others” will, unfortunately, prove themselves to be a truly bad apple, but often, others, whom you may have heard someone talking bad about may prove to be good people. I speak from experience!
DONE, and God bless!
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