Friday, November 4, 2011

Doing the Right Thing is Never Easy

Doing the right thing is never easy.

We can tell ourselves lies, justify our actions with reasonable logic, ignore the prickly feeling of guilt.

But let's face it. That's the easy way out. The coward's way.

I doubt there is a single person in this world who is innocent of gossiping.

Gossiping? you ask. Pfft. That's nothing. Everybody does it. Nothing wrong about that.

Nothing wrong? Nothing wrong?

Gossiping is seldom just, "Hey, you know what so and so did?" It is almost always accompanied by, "Ya lor, so teruk la she. Such a b****!" Think back to all those nasty things you said about someone else. All the jokes you made at the person's expense.

Now imagine if someone said those things about you.

Like you said, nothing wrong, isn't it?

How do you look that person in the eye anymore? How do go day after day acting like everything's fine and dandy? How do you go about pretending you never said the nasty things you did about the person just last night at dinner? The good laugh you had over it?

If you could do all that without even blinking, you're a plain hypocrite. That's what you are. A big 'ol hypocrite who doesn't have the guts to say all the things you can say behind a person's back right to their face. Who has no balls to confront the person, like you should.

It is so easy to be angry. It is so easy to get upset over every little thing. And every little thing becomes a big thing. Every single thing the person does annoys you, upsets you, has wronged you.

And in response to that, it is so easy to badmouth someone else. It is so easy to let that anger fester within you, to let it grow and consume you. You would not even know it. And all this is so much easier when you find others who share your sentiments or strong feelings towards this same person.

You think, "He deserves it! He's a jerk! He's selfish!" Whatever.

But don't you realize what this gossiping and hatred is doing to you? Sapping you of your energy, your time, your soul. You become so engulfed in it, so obsessed by it, you don't even realize it! You talk of nothing else, think of nothing else, with anyone you're with!

I came across this phrase, describing badmouthing: character assassination. All that bitterness, wrath, anger and evil-speaking. You're basically murdering someone's character, someone's reputation.

How can you live with yourself? How can you go on knowing what you are doing, what you have been doing behind someone's back?

If you just deny it, you're a coward. If you ignore it, you're a coward. If you do nothing about it, you're also a coward.

Proverbs 15:1 says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." And in verse 4, "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."

Whose spirit?

I believe it is both the person you speak evilly about, as well as your own.

It took me a concerned outside-friend, and a Bible verse to knock me to my senses, leave me reeling. Reeling in shock, in shameful realization, in repentance.

I begged God to forgive me, to give me the wisdom and the courage to make things right. God reminded me that he has asked us to love every one, most of all the ones who are not so easy to love. He reminded me that every word that comes out of our mouth should be "wholesome and uplifting". Not those that tear down, destroy and hurt.

You may think that gossiping, badmouthing is harmless. As long the person you are talking about never hears of it.

But trust me, it takes a toll. Not on the person you are talking about (if they never hear of it). But on you.

Do something about it. Talk to the person. Tell him how you really feel about the things he does, or has done. But not in a "I'm right and you're wrong" kind of way. And not with the expectation that the other person will change overnight, cos that it impossible. Do it in order to clear the air between you, to be honest in love, to let go.

Only then can you move on, with less a burden on your shoulders, a lighter heart.

Doing the right thing is never easy.

But let's face it. That's the easy way out. The coward's way.

It takes courage to confront someone. More than you may possess. But all things are possible with God. Ask Him, and He will bless you. He will give you the courage you need to do what is right.

And knowing that you are doing what is right should provide you with enough courage to make that first step.

Always, do it out of love. Not necessarily for the person. But do it out of love for our Father in heaven. For He has loved us, even as we are so unlovable.

To the person I have wronged, I ask for forgiveness. I am glad we talked, I am glad we have put everything out there. I hope that we can move past this, and that it helps us both grow, as people.

I have made things right. Have you?


SandraC said...

u are right to say that gossiping is assassinating character and against God's loving kindness. oh how i need to learn from u at times.. =) thank u for this post.

Hannah Khaw said...

Hmm that's very interesting! Perceptive observations indeed – that it's okay when we gossip about others, yet it's a terrible crime when others gossip about us. Food for thought!

dharfizi said...

its never easy doing the right thing. its never easy living a good life, to be a decent, good human being. thats why people like martin luther king, gandhi and malcolm x was assassinated. simply because they wanna do the right thing, they they believe in their cause, thus willing to pay for it, even with their life.