Posted by: howvoicebegan | 01/05/2012

Scandal!

I heard about this incredible Scandal today and I can’t wait to let the world know! You should be sitting down for what I’m about to tell you. And, you would never believe, of all people, this scandal was done by them.

Are you ready?

Here’s the Scandal: Somebody, somewhere in the world, did something wrong. Can you believe it?! And I think you should know about it. I think you should know about it from me, and not them.

Were I to have actually revealed something, we would call it gossip. A more fitting word would be slander.

The Bible warns repeatedly that we are to remove all slander from our speech (Proverbs 20:19, 1 Timothy 5:12-13, Ephesians 4:31). I find it all too common that the only way I know about a person is from slanderous statements made about them. I can’t describe how disconcerting it is to have some Scandal revealed about someone whom I thought highly of otherwise. It ruins it for me- instead of thinking well of them and appreciating their positive qualities, forever will I always attach their name to some grievous sin that others want to make sure they are never forgiven of or is never forgotten.

I don’t want my interactions forever marred with a background knowledge of a past mistake that they have no idea that I know about.

Worse yet- I don’t want anyone viewing me in light of my own past mistakes. What if I had something that, despite it happening years ago, still followed me around today? What if the people in my life made sure that everyone new in my life knew about my Scandal?

A popular South African soap opera goes by the same name of Scandal! and typifies the kind of gossip spreading that hurts and destroys. It seems so much easier and more interesting to talk about Scandals than to speak uplifting words about each other. If it wasn’t so fun to hear about someone’s tattered past, the TV shows wouldn’t sell. Nor would the magazines.

Bothered by all the negativity about each other in high school, I decided to make a book of names. I listed nearly everyone I was in contact with, especially those who were favourite subjects for gossip and slander. The book of names was not called Scandal, because it wasn’t about that. It was about focusing on the positive traits of each person and reshaping my thoughts about them. It was a very difficult project to keep up with because of how many people I encountered daily whom I felt I needed to include in the book, but for the time I had it, it left a lasting impression on me. Today, I cannot tolerate hearing a person’s reputation bashed, and then looking them in the eye the next day and pretending to not know about the Scandal that has been revealed.

Please, let’s leave the past where it is: behind us.  Let’s let each other build relationships based on our own interactions with each other and not with prior faults and mistakes that the person has overcome. Remember- if you indulge in Scandal sharing, you can be sure someone is doing the same to you.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:13-14

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