As the saying goes: “Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it.”
I have a couple of thoughts on this:
- On one hand I want to scream this from the mountain tops. I want to remind everyone that if you live your life above-board then you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to people spreading gossip about you. I want to impress on others to live a life full of integrity and character so that the above stands true. I want to encourage people to just do the right thing – and if people criticize them then it’s the other person’s issue.
- And on another hand I turn introspective and think: “If people ARE believing what the nasty people are saying then I must NOT be living in ‘such a way’… ” And while I recognize that could lead to a mentality of self-doubt there is also some good that can come from a healthy amount of self-awareness. Just watch out for that destructive self-talk that we often don’t realize we’re allowing.
Here’s the thing – if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of damaging gossip (not TO you but ABOUT you) then you know how surprising it is that some people could still believe it. The sad truth is, people are drawn to conflict. Face it – Hollywood has been very successful at this!
But, let it be known – you should be very careful of people who create and/or spread conflict about others. Soon they could be doing the same about you.
Avoiding being pulled into someone else’s conflict would be wise.
If you’re on the receiving end of someone else’s conflict stop the person spreading that conflict. Be bold – protect yourself and them. Stop the conflict in its tracks by telling them that you’re sympathetic re the issue but that you don’t want to be pulled in to the conflict.
In fact, I dare you to take it a step further and encourage them to clear the air instead of ignoring it or further spreading the conflict.
And I’ll just leave these right here:
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. Proverbs 10:9
In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33