I recently read, and tweeted and Facebooked, this…“When you throw dirt, you lose ground.” It was one of those things I read and immediately loved what it said. For days now, I’ve been thinking about literally how much ground we lose with people when we throw dirt when we choose to complain, argue, pass along false information, jump to faulty assumptions and choose words of death over words of life. I think about how much would be solved if we stopped going to that place of assumptions by just getting to know the individual, or the circumstance, a little better. On the flip side of that, how much would we, the receivers of the dirt throwing, be if we stop blaming others for NOT taking the time to get to know us. You see, all the way around, throwing dirt loses ground for ALL parties involved. Think of the times you’ve thrown dirt – said something you shouldn’t, or reacted in a less than edifying way. Or when the dirt has been thrown your way, how have you reacted? Do you see the individual for who they are? Maybe they have stuff going on in their own life that causes their words and actions to you to be harmful. It’s no excuse, but it does present us an opportunity to be forgivers, restorers and build our own character.
How are you gaining ground, rather than losing it? Are you speaking words of life to others, even when they are so difficult to be around? I’ve heard several stories recently where wives have gone off on their husbands publicly for what the wife believes her husband should be, or should be doing. In all honesty, do you think that husband is going to stand tall when his wife is humiliating him in public? Is he feeling that life is being poured into him when she is tearing him down in one second flat? Hear me…it takes a half a second to a second to have the ground fall beneath you when you throw dirt someone’s way. You may be reading this and saying, “Well, he or she deserved it! They hurt me.” Surprise, the ground just fell beneath your feet, too.
Exodus 23:1 says, “Do not pass along false reports about others.” Are you building people up to others, or tearing them down. Are you speaking only the truth – that which you know to be correct statements? Hey, I’ve been on the end of false assumptions a whole lot in my life. People think they really know me and yet they don’t have a clue. You know what I did the majority of the time? I reacted very poorly. Do you think I was walking around with my own head held high when I reacted this way? Absolutely not! Today, when people go to that place with me, it is much more satisfying to just walk away, know what God says about me, and move on. Let me encourage you today to quite simply start living for an audience of One. When you change your mindset to understand He sees every move you make, hears every thought you think, you’ll begin to stop surrounding your life in such negativity and begin to take another step of walking with Him, allowing Him to give you words of life, and reactions of grace.