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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dignifying the Integrity of Our Communication


What game of gossip
Has the disciple of Jesus
To play?
All powers in heaven
Give them what
They are to say.
Resisting their flesh
Their pride and lack
The good Lord, Holy Spirit
Gives them their tact.
Hardly a more important sign of our emotional intelligence is our ability to read gossip for what it is and to refuse to partake. Gossip is a chief character test. And there are tests every single day. Be awake to them.
Let us not become won to a deception; the opportunity is to grow in understanding and awareness, so we might more instinctively respond in tactful ways. The world needs more tact, more maturity, more patience, and more enduring love. And we are the ones, who’ve had the light of truth shone on us, who can respond as we know is best for all.
Sustaining the integrity of our communication is a dignifying practice.
It dignifies the people we interact with and, thereby, it dignifies us; less often are we treated in an undignifying fashion, not to mention the incidence of the infilling of God’s Spiritual blessing for having glorified the Lord, in and through our interactions.
***
Refusing to be party to gossip
Is refusing to be part of the problem
If we won’t be part of the solution.
Gossip, or talking about others behind their backs, is an inherent part of relational life, because we are all damaged goods, needing constant healing of the Master. Sure, our integrity may be so that we have been trained by the Holy Spirit to resist the temptation to engage in gossip, but we will – more or less – be constantly exposed to ‘children talking out of school’. Sadly, it’s just as prevalent in the church as anywhere else.
Some Facts to Get Our Heads Around – and to Accept
One harsh truth we all need to confess is we have all been children talking out of school. We have all had needs unmet deeper beneath which we have usurped in gossip – in an attempt to make us feel better or to shore up an unsteady position.
When we consider this truth is true for us, how are we then to respond to others who engage? Our response is grace – they are neither better nor worse than we are. We can afford to extend to them understanding, even in the hurt we experience. The Holy Spirit affords the splitting of emotions such that we are able to wrestle with the hurt whilst we spare their dignity by not firing another poisonous dart back at them.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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