For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases.
As coals are to hot embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man to inflame strife.
The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim’s nature]. – Proverbs 26:20-22 (AMP)
I recently posted a group discussion on the matter of “Where Are All The Mentors???” You can find the discussion thread here (Where Are All The Mentors)
There’s some great dialog in the thread from those sharing their experiences and insight into the subject. So…when I came upon an article today that was posted by CNN I had to post a write up that I believe piggy-backs the subject. In short it shows the story of 2 people, both choosing actions, which end up costing more than they bargained for. It begins with a job seeker of whom reached out to “connect” with someone as a business colleague. To say the least it went south very quickly from receipt of said request. The “response” from the party the request was sent to showed not only contempt but appeared to take the invitation to “connect” as downright insulting and their response was extremely unfiltered and used to teach what they believed to be a “lesson” to said requestor. Unfortunately, but also humanly, the requestor who received said response decided to in-kind publically share and display the message they received. I’m sure in doing so they wished to be soothed from their hurt over being vehemently snubbed and in turn did some tit-for-tat of their own. But as the article goes on to state that yes the person who did the victimizing is not only now humiliated the world over, and could possibly lose a great deal of credibility, but in addition the initial victim who shared this person’s poor judgment now has to face their own brand of judgment and criticism. Judgment that is coming in the form of being labeled vindictive, malicious and of poor judgment themselves.
How many times have you or I received feedback or criticism that we viewed as not only undeserved but totally out of line and then proceeded to spread our tale of said “insult” to others we know? I can tell you from experience that I have. I can also tell you from experience that by spreading my tale hurt and pain to people, that quite frankly couldn’t do anything about my situation, other than to sit there and fan the flames of my “injustice” with me, I only further hurt myself. Due to God’s grace, love and healing it has been years since I’ve gone what used to be a regular route and instead I have learned to take my hurts and wounds to the only Person that CAN help me. By no means am I saying that we should never alert those who may have the human ability to help with injustices caused by others, but what I am saying is that first and foremost we stop to consider the appropriate course of action and whatever we do PRAY before moving forward! As the old saying goes “If you’re upset or angry, breathe, count to ten and then slowing unpack your emotions”. I would also add prayer to the equation along with fasting depending on the situation.
Our natural inclination when offended is to “go on the offense” or in some cases we’ll flee to come at our opponent in less “direct” ways. Nothing has achieved this more than our Social Media age. Now if you’re angry about something, or desire others to take up your cause, all we have to do is jump on Social Media and instantly BAMMM we can make our voices heard. But with all things we must look for the double-edged sword in choices. Two wrongs never make a right and in this case both parties sadly lost. As I’ve posted before the poison we intend for our enemy may actually end up killing us.
The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;
the common sense of the godly preserves them. – Proverbs 11:9 (MSG)
As I stated, I have learned over the years that a quick tongue and actions (usually emotionally driven) leads to not only pain but can also inflict unintended collateral damage. I genuinely believe the person who reached out to connect had all the best intentions. Intentions to be connected to someone for good and purposes they looked at as not only a peer but more as a “Mentor” in where they were in life. And that is where my piggy-back wraps to. As we go through our lives, careers or just general experiences how often is it that we can become lost in our sensitivity to others climbing the ladder of life. It may not be the SAME ladder but nevertheless we are all on our journeys looking to others that have preceded us. Through God’s grace and love He has provided the ultimate roadmap in His word but I do firmly believe He has also provided us each other as resources in the journey. I can’t express how many people have been placed in my life by our Father to aid me along and to pull me up. I have also tried to be quick to listen to Him when He has identified those who I can in turn assist. I also learned that many times we will be called upon to help another that we will glean not one ounce of benefit from. Now you must admit that’s a hard one for our flesh to endure…”What?!? Help someone without getting anything in return???!” I know, I know my flesh burns with that thought every time the Lord places a situation like that in my path. Thus why we are directed to “Die to self” daily. It takes humility and trust in God to humbly walk before Him in this life.
I do hope and pray for BOTH parties involved in this story’s sad turn of events, events I’m sure neither expected. I pray as I’m sure others prayed from me years ago (yes thanks mom :D), that they lean and take away the lesson in what it is to “Treat one another as you would be treated”. My grandma always told me “A hard-head makes for a soft be-hind”. Both will have to live with their choices, as we all do, and as I have experienced first-hand… and sometimes continue to. ughhhh Ultimately if the lesson is truly learned, and if they can objectively and humbly, look at the experience to learn from it that in the end it was ultimately well worth the exercise.
Be Forever Blessed,