“Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:16
Gossip, misinformation, rumors. These things can ruin a reputation, cause unnecessary heartache, or even a loss of life. Our society thrives on it. It takes too long to gather facts. Even if it is false, information gets put out there to create excitement and drama. Social media is one of the worst places for this to occur.
One day, I noticed a Facebook post on a private page that involves my daughter’s school. The person posted a picture of a parent selling snacks after school. This post was a soapbox moment for her. She blasted the school’s administration for allowing junk food to be sold.
There was a very good reason for the snacks. A group of parents of incoming 5th graders, came together to raise money for next year’s science camp. There was a meeting for fundraising ideas and this was one of them. Parents donated snacks that could be sold one day after school. There was a variety of pre-packaged snack choices: some healthy, some not so not. Even though selling items had to be approved by the principal, this had nothing to do with the school.
The post reeked of judgment and condescension without any truth to it. Thankfully, every parent that commented defended the fundraiser. They explained why it was taking place. This didn’t seem to appease this parent that posted them initially. Unfortunately, she continued her rant about other issues that had nothing to do with the fundraiser. I was so livid. So I wondered, why couldn’t the parent who took the picture, just ask what was going on, instead of publically blasting a situation she didn’t know anything about? Sadly, the answer is, that is just what people do.
Why is that? Why don’t we just ask? We need to gather information before we make a judgment or comment. When something riles us up such as politics, religion, or problems in our community, we never ask why. We just create rumors and gossip from lies or half-truths.
This is not how God wants us to communicate with each other. We are to be loving and patient. If you are not sure of a situation, just ask. Asking questions can save a ton of heartache and pain. And that advice begins with me.
Lesson Learned: Do not be afraid to ask questions.
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for spreading gossip. Help me to keep my emotions in check and listen to one another. Create in me a new heart. Restore areas in my life that need work. Help me to forgive. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”