Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. … Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! (James 1:19,20, 22 MSG)
Exchanges of Words (2)
“It’s just gossip”, I thought as I listened to the talking heads on a Canadian news show. They all were in high dudgeon about comments a senator had made. They were angry, judgmental, self-assured and ready to have her shredded on a venetian blind for her sins.
I agreed with their opinions but their attitude and smugness made me realize it was simply gossip. The opinions went into thin air and had no commitment to do anything constructive. Their disconnection from the person they were discussing enabled discourtesy and judgment.
One of the roots of the word conversation means “be familiar with”. It is one thing to be familiar with our own opinions but quite another to be familiar with the person on whom we are opining. It is a good reminder when we are conversing with one another about someone – our view of them is usually quite different when present to us in flesh and blood.
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, the noise of opinion is almost deafening. I need some quiet to hear your call to kindness and mercy in my work this day. Temper my tendency to judgment, help me see people as whole persons regardless of their failings. Keep me from smugness and open to forgiveness and actually engaging with those who are difficult… For Jesus’ sake.