Friday, August 11, 2017

"The Effects of Gossip"

She is Executive Director of a large non-profit organization. I asked her “What are the tough things about your job that keep you awake at night?”
Without hesitation, she said gossip. In order to maintain a healthy environment in her organization, she declared, the leadership will not tolerate gossip. Gossip devalues people. The effects of gossip can be devastating. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself:

  •  Is it true?
  • Is it harmless?
  • Is it necessary?

The bottom line is – if it isn’t verifiable, then don’t repeat it!

People gossip for two reasons: First, fear of losing one’s job, making a mistake or fear of looking unimportant. The second reason is pride, wanting attention, wanting to belong or wanting people to think you have the inside track. The gossiper deserves confrontation. Gossipers hurt people.

Proverbs 20:19 calls a gossiper a babbler. Not very flattering. Ephesians 4:29 reads, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up as there is need, so that your word may give grace to those who hear.”

That is the Christian Standard!


Friday, August 4, 2017

"What Do You Want To Do With the Rest of Your Life?"

We were eyeball to eyeball when he said to me, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?" Tough question! My commitment to the Lord and ministry has meant that I have short-changed family time, vacations and sabbaticals. Yes, there is something of compulsion mixed into that.

All of us deal with that tough question. Is more of the same fulfilling? It is a faith question. To believe in God is basic but more importantly, we are invited to surrender our wills to the Lord so that the Holy Spirit can guide us in the use of our time, talent and resources.

The tough questions include – Do we have clarity regarding our goals? Do our lives display joy? Do people welcome our presence? Is our work fulfilling? Do we awaken to excitement for the activities of the day ahead?

At 77, I am very cognizant that life is short. There is still time for us to do the things the Lord has in mind for us. You don’t want to miss that!  James 4:14 says, “What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Once the sun rises and the wind blows, the mist disappears. I want more for my life than that. “To glorify God and enjoy him forever” is a worthy goal. I strongly believe that the Lord never asks us to do more than his strength will provide. God does not want us stressed out. “My grace is sufficient for you and my strength is made perfect in weakness. “Success is doing what God asks us to do. That’s liberation!