November 8th is quickly approaching, and with it the talk has seemed to amp up. People think they have the right to discuss ‘everything about anything’ regardless if it has anything to do with the actual election or not. I feel that if it has nothing to do with politics — how that person will do their job, how that person will come through on promises they have made during the debates and local “meet the candidates” then why should people care what they do in their personal life. Does what you are “discussing” deal with the person as a public figure, or is it something that has happened in their personal life that has nothing to do with the fact that they show up to their job on a daily basis and serve the community or nation as a whole?
Does a personal life affect a public life? Sometimes yes. The person may be an alcoholic and unable to perform at their best level of service, they may end up late to work, or sleep through meetings if they have had a “black out”. The person my have an affair, and they may have to deal with the “other party” on a public platform and it may affect how they see and react to “the other person” if the affair did not end amicably. A person may be depressed, have an eating disorder, or be borderline crazy and it can affect how they can function in society. Or they can hide their private life to the point that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, and it doesn’t affect their public life at all, and it doesn’t get discussed or made public by people that have no business talking about what is not their business. YET…there are times when people find information out and they feel it is their PUBLIC DUTY to discuss the situation, give their opinion on the situation, and spread the information to all who will listen. Am I guilty of this? Yes, I have to be open and say that I sometimes do get into conversations concerning situations that have nothing to do with me or the betterment of my situation or the the situation of the people involved in the discussion. It’s human nature to want to be “in the know”…but sometimes we need to just STOP TALKING, STOP GOSSIPING…it changes nothing, nor does it help.
Over the past month there were two different messages that I had the opportunity to hear that dealt with who we are as people and how we deal with people. One was given by my pastor, Chuck Carr, and it was titled “Pride and Prejudice”. We have prejudice against people that we sometimes do not realize that make us “prideful” in who we are and what we can do. We see prejudice as black and white, we do not realize that we also have prejudice in our social status, our education, our intellect, our politics, and even our religion. We set ourselves up as being better, and we treat the people that we feel is inferior to us badly. Our attitude will show them how we feel, and eventually we will be no better…the Bible tells us that pride goes before a fall. We cannot have prejudices and be prideful and truly be examples and reach people and help them. It is ok to strive for education, and to do your best in what you do…but when you start lording over others because they are not as smart, do not have as much as you do, or do not walk in the same circles as you…then you become prideful in what you have.
The second message, by Bro Seizmore, made it plane and simple that we have to love one another. Regardless of who the person is, what they have done we have to love them. We may not like them at that moment, but to continue working and living we have to love them. And if there is a something wrong with how we feel toward those around us then we need to check our relationship with God. If we keep it open and healthy vertically (between ourselves and God) then the relationships with those around us will stay healthy.
These two messages made me check myself. Am I good enough and living my life in a way that people around me can see God and want to be a “christian”? If I’m constantly talking about people, seeing the negative in life, treating people inferior to myself because they may not be living up to a standard of life that I see as attainable…who wants to be a part of that life? Who would be interested in knowing about Christ and the life I live?
I’m not perfect by any means. I am a work in progress and some days I fail. People are quick to let you know when you fail. It is harder to let people know when they succeed. I will continue to strive to be better, to put these characteristics into play in my life.
I’ve said all that to say this…if it does not personally pertain to you, if it does not build up a person, and if it does not affect how that person performs at their job — STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
A lot of the “chatter” (i.e. gossip) that is being talked about locally and on a national level is history repeating itself. There are a lot of public figures (locally and nationally) that have the same skeletons in their closet, or worse. It is not our responsibility to make it public chatter. I’m sure those that are sharing the “word” have just as much they would not want shared as the people they are sharing about.
If it changes nothing…and helps nothing…then stop sharing it. It’s time to cut prejudice and pride out of our encounters with others. We must have a love one for another — I am speaking to self as much as to anyone else.