I have friends at church that often go to people in need, but many times they’ll turn around and hurt them by gossiping or being unkind. Sometimes they accuse me of doing the same, but I am not aware of it. What can be done?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Some might be inclined to dismiss such injuries as comparatively unimportant. But hurting one another is no trivial thing. Our lives are intricately woven into the lives of scores and hundreds of others around us. Consider the variety of lives that we influence in one day; family members and their friends, business associates, neighbors, grocery store attendants, restaurant servers, taxi drivers; and yes, fellow church members. Whether these relationships are casual or deeply rooted, the potential exists within each one for great hurt or great help.
Somewhere within our circle of contacts someone is being hurt. Maybe we are the one who is hurt by another. For the Christian, our example for dealing with these issues is to look at Jesus. His words of caution and His words of wisdom will guide us if we will take heed. One of the most blessed sermons ever preached was the Sermon on the Mount. Preachers would serve the people well to preach it often. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful … blessed are the pure in heart … blessed are the peacemakers … blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:7-10).
Scripture teaches us to be more concerned about the needs and feelings of others than our own. We are to encourage and build self-confidence in our loved ones, friends and associates. Often we will experience greater satisfaction and joy over the accomplishments of others than our own.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)