The other day, I ran across a story about a possible huge alligator sighting in South Bryan County. The picture was posted on a community website and thought to have been taken in that community.
It didn’t take long for the story to get out that this alligator was prowling around a particular street. People began to fear for the safety of their children and pets. Who knows what stories were circulated before it was revealed that the picture was taken out of state and was posted only for viewing pleasure.
The truth of the matter in this situation was that no real damage was done, only a day of excitement and concern. The same thing can happen when fisherman tell fishing stories: no real damage, just a little excitement and a bit of fun.
There are, however, many situations in which much harm can come from stories that get circulated and end up being inaccurate. Many times, these stories turn into gossip and can end up killing or destroying a person’s reputation. Sometimes, damage occurs that is hard or impossible to reverse.
In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul says that gossip is from a wicked or godless heart. There are people who take pleasure in seeing others ripped apart by gossip.
We need to ask ourselves, “Would we like it if others were saying false things about us?” Jesus said, “Do unto others as we would like done unto us.” A good policy is to say only positive things about others, unless it’s necessary to do otherwise. Determine to be ambassadors of good will and encouragement.
Learn to see the best in others, not the worst, and believe there is hope for those who are farthest away from God.