Look Before Leaping!
Perhaps you've heard the saying, "Look before you leap." Sage advise! It simply means, stop, look and think before you do something, otherwise you may regret doing it.
I know someone; let's call her Jane, who recently received a scathing email from a friend. Jane hadn't heard from her friend in years. This friend ran into one of Jane's family members who filled her with mis-information, and out of the blue Jane's friend sent a chastising email. The friend never called to get Jane's side of the story, or even to find out if the story told was true. She simply sent the reprimand.
Aren't we all like that sometimes? We hear a story causing our emotions to run rampant, then react to it without first checking to see if there's merit to the story?
Genesis 39 tells the story of Joseph. His employer's wife wanted to seduce him, but when Joseph refused, she falsely accused him of doing what she herself wanted to do to him. Potiphar, Joseph's employer, then threw Joseph into jail. It's always puzzled me that Potiphar knew and trusted Joseph so much, that he gave Joseph complete control of his house. What happened to that trust when this incident occurred? Could Potiphar not go and find out Joseph's side of the story?
Perhaps because it was a spousal situation, Potiphar intentionally chose to believe his wife over Joseph, even though he believed Joseph's innocence. But the situation is still the same, Potiphar leaped before looking.
If you want to be a true friend, here is what the Bible says about gossiping:
1. If you find yourself in a situation where someone gives you information about another, first think about how you would feel if others were talking about you. "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12, NIV).
2. If the problem is not yours: Proverbs 26:17 says, "Interfering in someone else's argument is as foolish as yanking a dog's ears" (NLT).
3. Inform the person who's gossiping to you to follow the principle of Matthew 18:15, "If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back." (NLT)
Rather than send a harsh email, text, chat, letter or whatever, contact the person by phone or in-person, let them know you heard something, ask them if they want to talk about it, and then fully listen to them.