Every once in a while you find a video on facebook that is really worth watching. Recently, I watched a video where a guy talked about gossip and talking poorly of others. He was talking about how he deals with gossip or what he does when someone wants to talk poorly about a friend. I loved the advice he gave. He said anytime someone wants to talk about someone else he runs it through a 3 questions criteria. He asks the following:
Is what you are about to say truthful? Yes/No
Is what you are about to say good? Yes/No
Is what you are about to say useful? Yes/No
If the answer to all of these questions is NO than he doesn't listen to the person or even contribute to the conversation. He shuts it down immediately. If the answers are yes then he gives the green light for the conversation to move forward. However, not every situation is going to be a straight yes or no situation. What do you do when someone is talking truth about a friend or brother/sister in Christ but the information isn't good? What if it isn't useful?
He said some situations require more examination. Think about your own life sometimes you have something going on that is truthful and useful but it isn't good. Examples of this might be an accident, tragedy, or illness. Those things can be true and useful to talk about but not good. You might even need to tell someone something useful or good but you aren't sure if it is true. What should you do?
I think it is important for us to filter all of our conversations about others through these 3 questions. Not everything will always fit perfectly but we should strive for a 2 out of 3. We should also always think, pray, and pause before we consider talking about another person. Gossip is a dangerous line to walk and even if our intentions are good we can really hurt others. I do want to point out, I think there is a difference between gossip and trying to get sound advice or counsel regarding a situation. Perhaps I can touch on that in a future post.
Lastly, I think it is important to say that I haven't always gotten this right but am working to do better in the future. For now, have a great day and week. I hope this helps you love others better.