Christian 2 Christian

A gossipy elder of mine once told me that she didn’t like the way that a certain Christian brother often tried to raise mirth in others.
              She questioned his motives, she said.
              I said a little silent prayer for the elder.
Then I kept reminding myself not to alter my view of the brother just because of this bit of gossip.
Alas, however, my first efforts were not totally successful.
I often found myself more closely scrutinizing the actions of the brother, trying to see what the elder might have seen in him.
And each time that I’d catch myself doing that, I’d feel extremely ashamed.
After all, isn’t character assassination a big part of the way that they set up and eventually killed our Lord and Savior?
Of course it was.
You know, the Pharisees and others in the Jewish religious hierarchy, spurred by jealousy, circulated gossip and false opinions about Jesus.
 And they harped on the false information enough to eventually influence even folks who didn’t know our Lord to take up a cry against Him.
Especially with all that we know about the Son Of God, who would want to be part of that kind of behavior?
Well, maybe the more pressing question is who, in the flesh, can avoid getting caught up in such behavior.
Hey, talking about people, forming snap judgments, drawing false conclusions and spreading it all around is basic human nature.
Dishing up junk is in our DNA.
You know Jesus knows that best of all.
That’s a big part of why when you turn to such passages as Matthew 7:1, Jesus says, as plainly as day: “Judge not, that ye not be judged.”
And don’t forget Matthew 7:3: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
Jesus and the Holy Spirit know, quite well, that our flesh and our egos, under Satan’s constant influence, always conspire against us.
Our flesh, ego and the devil first move us to accept in ourselves the very same bad stuff that we rail against in others.
Then they push us to feel good and superior about ourselves through pointing out the flaws of others.
And a lot of times, the faults will be the very same fault that can’t be missed in us.
Sometimes, too, our weak flesh will even let Satan push us to launch self-righteous campaigns against subjects of our gossip. 
I thank God for Jesus and the Holy Spirit every time a voice in my head reminds me to tune out and avoid what sounds like made-up junk.
I’m equally thankful too, when that same inner voice also keeps me remembering to give people more room to show me them.
“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion” (Ps. 71:1).


Ozzie Robert
January 21, 2018

 
 
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