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The most important message I picked up from today’s readings overall is to beware of the temptation to gossip.
My primary takeaway from each of the passages was this:
- Exodus 23-24 – “You will not spread false rumors. You will not lend support to the wicked by giving untrue evidence.” Lying seems to be at the root of all evil, we are reminded that even gossip is a form of lying, and is also a form of evil. Additionally, “…do not acquit the guilty.” Never was there a more apt word for our times!
- Mark 9 – When in God’s presence, stay present and have faith. All things are possible for those who have faith. “I believe! Help my unbelief.” When faith is lacking, ask God for more faith!
- Psalms 37 – Take refuge in God and he will save you.
- Proverbs 6 – Work hard. Be humble.
A constant battle I fight in my small town and in my classroom is the battle against gossip. One of the most frequently uttered phrases I hear in my town and at my school is, “Well, I heard….” When I hear that in my classroom I immediately stop the conversation in its tracks and ask my students these questions: “Is the person you are talking about here? Does what you are saying adhere to the T.H.I.N.K. rule? If not, change the subject immediately.”
If you’re not familiar with the T.H.I.N.K.* rule, it goes like this:
If what you are saying is not…
- Important or Inspiring
then it is gossip and it is forbidden in my classroom.
Invariably, I’ll have some students try to hang all of their hopes of continuing the gossip on the “Important” item in the list. I remind them that it must adhere to every item on the list in order to not be considered gossip. I also remind them that even if I only required their conversation to adhere to only one item on the list, what they consider important is often just a desire to know the gossip.
My students are not the only ones guilty of this. Adults do it all the time. Gossipping adults are harder to silence, so after saying, “Clearly this doesn’t concern me,” I just walk away.
I challenge you to see how much of your daily conversation, and the conversations you are privy to, pass the T.H.I.N.K. test.
That’s what I got out of it. What did you get out of the readings today?
You can join the discussion in the comments, below; or you can join us in our private Facebook group that I set up specifically for sharing what we take-away from the readings each day.
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* I did not invent the T.H.I.N.K. rule. That has been floating around on the Internet in various forms for many years now. I’d love to give credit to whoever came up with it because it is so useful. I you know who originated it, please share it in the comments, below.