We're onto our 4th commitment point this week.
We will not entertain accusations against one another, nor will we pass on or receive gossip about one another
This is a tricky one.
We all like to be in the know, up to date with what is going on, but it’s important that what we hear and share is truthful. When we make assumptions about someone, their story, or the situation they may be in, without getting the information from the person themselves, we can get it wrong. That’s gossip.
When our speaking of others is not respecting that person then that’s gossip. The voice in my head reminds me of something my mum told me (and I’m sure you’ve been told as well) “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Last week I mentioned the New Commandment that comes to us through the gospel of John. In the chapters that make up the Final Discourse Jesus twice instructs the disciples of this command to love one another. In chapter 13:34 they told “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” And then in chapter 15:12 this command is repeated, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
To be a community that cares for each other we need to be one that loves one another. Now love doesn’t mean ignoring the things that go on or the situations that can happen, but I believe it means all the things we’ve been speaking about over the last few weeks. To love one another is to respect one another, to love one another is to seek reconciliation with one another, to love one another is to allow each other grace in our interactions and relationships, to speak honestly, openly, and to seek forgiveness as needed.
There will be times when we need to question and explore accusations against one another, but that exploration should be done in the love that Christ speaks of, filled with all that I’ve just said. As a community together we are to remind ourselves that assumptions, lack of information or lack of correct information can all lead to gossip, and that does not respect, bring grace or reconciliation to one another.
This is the reason for this commitment point, to love one another as Christ loves us.