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Not another 'work around'

Have you ever been 'talked about' by others? If you are human and living on this earth, the answer to that question is probably a resounding "yes"! Human beings have a way of finding things in others they want to talk about - rationalize, complain, point fingers - we all do it. Even the best of us find ourselves talking about others from time to time - maybe in a nice way, but maybe not always in the best of ways. Knowing this, isn't it important that we continue to 'refine' the way we speak about each other, allowing God to guide our conversation?

The godless spread lies about me, but I focus my attention on what you are saying; they're bland as a bucket of lard, while I dance to the tune of your revelation. (Psalm 119:69-70)

I once wrote a post about a friend who reported she has had to learn to 'work around' what others have said about her. She found herself in the midst of gossip and as a result, she was 'working around' the mess those words were creating for her life. David was faced with the same challenge - - friends were spreading gossip and lies about him. His response was much the same of my friend's - - he turned to God, listening intently to what God had to say about him and the situation - - not to the hurtful words of those who were speaking those unkind words. He was learning to work AROUND the things in people that just made his life a little less than enjoyable. Confidences don't always seem to remain that way; words are sometimes spoken that may bring a little hurt within our emotions; and we frequently find ourselves in a situation of wanting to say, "Get 'em, God!" I wonder if perhaps we are smack-dab in those circumstances because God is teaching us to work AROUND those things in others!

According to scripture, those who spread rumors have minds that are dull and brutal. There is a certain "dullness" of mind that just becomes apparent in the words they speak. Dullness is really a condition of being without spirit. Maybe it is more of being without the "Spirit" in that area of their life that causes them to speak against others. When we are not being "governed" by the Spirit of God in our words, we are allowing unwholesome gossip, backbiting, and the like to be part of our communication. We have not given that area over to the control of the Holy Spirit. In another sense, this dullness is evident in the lack of "richness" within our conversation. God reminds us often to speak words that "edify", or build each other up, avoiding those words that tear one another down. Those closed-door conversations, secret words in the corners of the office, and the passing comments hidden from public hearing are simply not "building" blocks - they are more like "wrecking balls".

Not only are the words of a gossiper dull, but they are brutal. There is a sense of "cruelness" in what is spoken. In a sense, they are "animal-like", tearing apart another just like a ravenous animal would attack prey. These type of words do nothing but create hurt, deep wounds, and ongoing "soreness" in a relationship. That is why they are so dangerous! David gives us a little insight into "handling" these dull and brutal words as he reminds us to focus our attention elsewhere. Learn to "work around" those things in others that give you reason to talk - not by focusing on them, but by focusing on God in them. All of us have the ability to be just as dull and brutal, but we would want others to extend the same grace in our lives as we are being asked to extend to them. Forgiveness is indeed hard, but it is oh SO very rewarding. There is nothing that confounds someone more than being "deserving" of our anger, but then receiving our grace instead!

I like David's explanation of those that tend toward gossip as if they are like tubs of lard! Ever see a tub of lard? Not so pretty, but also not very easy to get a handle on the contents of that tub! Try holding onto lard and you will find it quite difficult. It takes the shape of whatever it is in contact with because it is really not capable of being "pressed upon" or exposed to the "heat" of an outside force. I am not saying the "gossiper" cannot help but conform to the gossip around them, but they just tend to go with the flow more than they know! It is probably pretty important for us to learn to work AROUND the one that speaks those words of unkindness. They probably deserve your anger, but they will be shut down by your grace! Just sayin!

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