Love … rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
—1 Co-rinthians 13:6-7
Conversation often flows freely when gossip worms its way in. But try shifting a negative conversation toward delight in someone’s goodness, and the lively banter will often end with a thud. You’ve stopped the fun. But that’s fun bent on savoring rumors, speculating on half-truths, and spreading lies.
Instead, why not celebrate people’s good points and accomplishments? Not to set them up as so much better or greater than others. But it can be good to build people up, to celebrate the true and noble and right and admirable things they have done. Everyone needs praiseworthy examples to look up to.
Think of the great discoveries of science and explorations of nature that have helped us understand the world God has given us—and how best to live in it. Think of the good ways people can live together, grounded in the virtues of honesty, truth, courage, hard work, sacrifice, and making excellent use of our talents and gifts—all to the glory of God.
When you love people, you delight in their good. You speak well of them. And you show compassion and forgiveness if something has gone wrong in their lives. You speak carefully to protect and defend the truth and the ones you love. You don’t gloss over wrongdoing, but you promote justice and “right-doing”—all based on truth that yields joy-filled living.
Keep us, Lord, from twisting the truth and cutting others down. May we all grow up together in you. In Jesus, Amen.
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