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“I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.” – Benjamin Franklin


I knew a woman once who took a temporary job working for a large corporation. She determined that, albeit the job was simply answering phones in a small branch of the company and far below her capabilities, she would do it to the best of her ability.



Every day in the course of her new job, the woman talked with the employees at other locations and she felt the negativity in their voice as they spoke of her new employer. Knowing he was not the ogre they thought he was, she decided as she drove home one evening there was something she could do to help improve their opinion of him.



Beginning the very next morning, she began to pay attention to every comment he made. Each time she heard him complement one of his employees, she would later call and tell them what she had heard. They were at first surprised and then thrilled to discover his high regard for them. For months she continued her campaign, passing along every positive comment she heard and keeping to herself the occasional negative one.


Soon, the area of the corporation the man managed began showing drastic improvement. Profits were rising, higher ups were noticing and the man implemented an employee reward program that recognized the highest achievers and looked for things to praise in up and comers. It wasn’t long before the employees were wild about their boss. The negative atmosphere was transforming to one that was positive and uplifting.



Every time we hear something about someone we have a choice to make. We can pass along the comment to others or not. If the comment is negative, we really aren’t doing anyone else or ourselves any favors by repeating it. It doesn’t really matter if it’s true or false; a good result is never achieved by talking bad about someone else. It may create some excitement momentarily to be the bearer of the latest gossip, but the thrill quickly goes away and much damage may have been done. And there is always the old saying that what goes around comes around. You may be the subject next time. And anyone who will participate in gossip with you will also gossip about you.



Good gossip, on the other hand, can completely transform a situation or relationship from hopeless to joyful. How many times each day do you have an opportunity to bolster another’s esteem by repeating good gossip instead of bad? How many lives could you touch by passing along a compliment you heard

about them today? We all remember comments that were made about us and to us as children. The words you say can help make or break someone’s self esteem. You have the power to help or harm every time you open your mouth.



Everyone likes to be around an encouraging person. You can be a person everyone wants to be around by passing along every tidbit of good gossip you hear. There is enough bad in the world to beat us all down if we let it. There is plenty of negativity and gossip on the news every time we turn on our television at night without each of us adding bad things we heard about

someone else to the atmosphere.



If you are in a negative situation, if your job gets you down, if your boss is always the subject of talk in the break room, if someone in your family is always the subject of negative discussion, if your friends are not highly thought of, be the bigger person and break the cycle of bad gossip. Spread the good gossip you hear instead and watch the transformation begin.



Nothing stops a gossip faster than saying “Really? He always speaks so highly of you.”


“So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.” - Will Smith



Excerpted from Sidewalk Flowers, Vol. 1


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