INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
JUDGE NOT . . .
You know the type - there's a gossip in everyone's life. It may be a friend, an acquaintance, or a total stranger. Regardless, it is the person who shares with you any amount of information about another, either about what they have accomplished, or more often, what they have not.
Why does a gossip perform his or her service so readily? Self-aggrandizement is often the culprit. Knowing such valuable information about another as to be able to share it, reasons the gossip, reflects favorably on the provider of such knowledge. In fact, however, gossiping is nothing more than the act of judging others.
When a friend passes judgment on another, might it be that, in your absence, they also pass judgment on you? In most cases that is true. Thus, one measure of another's character might be the presence or absence of such a tendency.
Steven Covey (of "Seven Habits..." fame) offers a solution when he says, "If you do not judge others, they will not judge you." In other words, if you are of such character as to never discuss the merits or actions of others, unless they are favorable, it is highly likely that others will reciprocate in kind. If someone makes a negative comment about another, Covey suggests that your reply might be, "That's interesting. He has always spoken very highly of YOU."
This truth is best summarzied and vslidated in Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It's easy to neutralize the gossip's sting by practicing such clear advice!