One of my favorite interpretations of the commandment “You shall not kill” is one that expands the law to not only prohibit taking life but to prohibit all the little “murders” we commit each day. Whether we mutter under our breath about a co-worker or speculate about a friend’s relationship with her spouse, or try to guess the amount so-and-so spent on those new shoes, we injure their reputations. We don’t physically “kill” them, but we do kill their character.
It’s difficult not to gossip. It’s hard to temper our enthusiasm about being in-the-know. We need to be good storytellers.
Good storytellers don’t just talk about their characters’ actions, but their motivations. If we tell stories about our friends, family members or colleagues, I hope we can remember that.
This message is adapted from “Rumor has it” written by Amber Leberman in the July 2006 issue of Café magazine. A 25th anniversary kickoff celebration will be held this evening at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.