Talking trash is a sad reality of life. Stop right now and think... You can think of someone right now that has hurt you. They said things behind your back that have hurt, scars that are still barely healing. Maybe even right now, you are always carrying that baggage, and because of that, you are not willing to trust other people out of protection.
I get it! I have had a close friend. Someone I considered a brother, but over time I began to hear that what he said to my face was not what he said behind my back. We worked together. And I loved working and being challenged by him, but he would be questioning my leadership with others, not me? Why? We all know that the right thing to do is to talk directly to the person, right? Where does that come from? I will tell you... The Bible.
15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. - MATTHEW 18:15
They won't listen??? Don't worry; the Bible's got you.
16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. - Matthew 18:16
But I believe there is a more significant issue... When these issues happen (notice I said when not if), what you do next matters. For too many of us, we write that person off. We cut them out of our lives. We call them out not in a Matthew 18 way but filled with judgment and anger. How you respond matters.
But there is another side to this I believe matters. Sometimes we have an issue with someone else. Maybe significant or maybe minimal, but we fall into saying things to others we are unwilling to speak to the person. Let's look at what we are called to do biblically...
20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. - 2 Corinthians 12:20
Are you quarreling, jealous, angry, selfish, causing slander, a gossip, arrogant, and disorderly? Be honest. Are you saying things to others you are not willing to speak to the person? We are called to be united. If you are meant to be united and not divided, you may need to consider a new and better approach.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below...