Receiving respect from others is important because it helps us to feel safe and to express ourselves. Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they’re different from you or you don’t agree with them. Respect in your relationships builds feelings of trust, safety, and wellbeing. What does the bible say on this…?
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus states ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Then in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul writes, ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
So, what are the two things that destroy more relationships and display a lack of respect?
Slander and Gossip.
Think about how your ears perk up when someone begins a conversation with “Hey, did you hear what’s been happening with our old friend Jim?” Such words tend to grab our undivided attention.
Gossip appeals to us because humans love dirty laundry. We love it when people lose, especially those whom we may (secretly but sinfully) view as being a few layers above or below us on the social, economic, educational, or celebrity strata. We love to hear—and spread—bad news about them. Solomon’s inspired wisdom put it this way:
The words of a whisperer (gossiper) are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (Prov. 18:8).
Gossip is appealing to us because we love stories—about us and others. We read our children stories from the time they were born. Gossip is telling a story—one that communicates bad news about another person behind that person’s back. Scripture depicts gossip as whispering that ruins relationships and separates even the closest of friends:
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer (gossip) separates close friends.” (Prov. 16:28)
When you hear gossip about a friend, it plants suspicion in your mind, which builds a barrier of doubt. By the same token, if your friend gossips to you about somebody else, you’ll certainly wonder if he gossips about you. It destroys trust and creates cynicism within relationships.
Gossip is slightly different from slander because it’s often done in the context of idle, careless chatter. Slander flies its dark standard more proudly.
Slander is the open, intentional sharing of damaging information about another person. It’s the triple play of sinful talk because it harms the speaker, the hearer, and the one about whom it is spoken. It’s communicating damaging information about another person with the intention of smearing their character. That is, telling a story—it can be either true or false—with the intent of causing harm to another’s reputation.
What’s the heart issue behind slander and gossip? Self-love and self-promotion. When we are involved in slander and gossip, we tear others down and build ourselves up. What drive us to undermine the good name of another person and make ourselves look good:
Curiosity. We’re naturally curious, so we want to know the news. Curiosity is fine, even constructive, unless it leads us down the path toward tearing others down with our information.
A desire to be the centre of attention. We have the scoop on a person of interest to others, juicy information that no one else has accessed.
The opportunity to elevate ourselves. As Will Durant said, “To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.”
Malicious words are often spawned by bitterness.
Let us model to our children and by transforming our tongues to respond with love, wisdom, and grace, so that they can do likewise.Adapted from: Communication’s Two Catastrophic Cousins (thegospelcoalition.org)
Week 1: HS CSSA Zone Athletics
Week 2: Year 7 – 10 Parent teacher night 1 Thursday(Virtual), Year 9 2022 Subject Selection Website opens, Year 12 Trial Examinations start
Week 3: Year 7 – 10 Parent Teacher night 2 Monday (Virtual)
Week 5: Year 11 2022 Senior exec interviews, Year 12 CAPA Showcase
High School Deputy Principal