When in doubt, follow the Golden Rule

Published 1:57 pm Saturday, May 7, 2022

By Jan Miller Penton

The sound of the dryer humming and a dog barking in the distance invade my morning reverie. Missy snoozes on her fuzzy blanket with one eye opening occasionally to check out her surroundings as if she truly is a watchdog. We both know she only watches out for her next meal, but that suits us both just fine. At least she doesn’t annoy others with a constant barrage of barking, but that’s a story best left untold.

The ability to know when to speak and when to remain silent is not so difficult, I think, but to actually do it is a different matter altogether. I heard a bit of gossip and kept it to myself for several weeks knowing it was better not to pass it on. But just this week my lips took over my mind, and I blurted the information out. Immediately, I felt the remorse that comes when I have made a misstep, but words spoken can never be taken back.

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Gossip is really a terrible thing, and never helps one person. I remember that I passed gossip around as much as the next person until I was the one being gossiped about. I really don’t remember what was said, but in Jr. High I heard some ugly tales   going around about me. I don’t even remember if there was any truth to them, but that is really beside the point.

The Golden Rule in Luke 6:31 tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated so I’m pretty sure that covers telling tales, true or not. At any rate, I know that none of us will ever reach perfection, but I do think we should all be headed in that direction. I so admire people who don’t spread gossip, and I have been acquainted with several such people so I know that I can do the same.

Now that I’ve said this out loud, I’m almost certain that I will be tempted to gossip this week. I guess when this happens it will give me a chance to flex that particular spiritual muscle that keeps my mouth shut!

This past week my friend, Anne, and I reconnected with a couple of friends from years past both named Debbie. We had such a wonderful visit talking and laughing about old times. One of my friends uses a portable oxygen tank, and when the flames from the hibachi table behind us roared to life we almost all dove for cover! She turned it off, and all was well, but we really had a belly laugh over this!

The years seemed to melt away as we shared stories of our lives since our days of running around together. We all have children and grandchildren so there may have been just a bit of bragging involved in our conversation, but that goes with the territory. After all the time that had passed it seemed right and good to be together again.