How to build people up...

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Gossip is deadly. Many believe it injures those spoken of, but in reality, it steals life from all involved. Gossip grinds life to a halt. It grabs the attention of any within reach and it begins to tear down what God wants to built up. Gossip can stall an entire culture and bring any forward movement to a standstill. It kills dreams for the future, good memories of the past and life in the moment. Gossip is deadly, but God has better plan and it's not what you think. 

We've heard it thousands of times: "If you don't have something good to say, don't say it." Well that's a touch simplistic. Being silent can leave some things that need to be said, closed up in the soul of someone who's trying to be righteous - everyone loses. God has a better way, much better. Look at this closely. "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." God never tells us to not share tough things. But God wants our communication to have clear direction - building people up!

So God would change that little phrase a bit: "Aim to build up people with your words. Add lots of grace to your presentation. But if you can't do that, don't say it." Corrupting talk is never justified and it has a money back guarantee: It always leads to decline. This downward trajectory is easily seen in individuals, groups, churches and companies. But a culture of grace always seems to grow. Are there tough things that need to be shared? Sure there are. But how we capture those things and how we share those things is the person changer, church changer, and organization changer. 

Do a "180 Now". Turn around from gossip. Don't justify it another day. It's too costly and everyone loses. Instead, look at the person as God sees them. Any person who has a pulse is full of potential. Nobody is too far gone, nobody. Frame your words in a way that the person will know you have their good in mind, that you're armed with grace, and that you aim to make them a whole lot bigger and better. You can do this, God can help.

Ephesians 4:29