“Those who…do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Jas 1:26 NIV
When someone gossips about you, keep this in mind: People tend to accuse in others what they excuse in themselves. The story’s told about a husband who suspected his wife was losing her hearing. One night he positioned himself across the room from her as she sat in her favorite chair with her back to him. Very softly he said, “Can you hear me?” When she didn’t answer he moved a little closer and repeated very softly, “Can you hear me?” Still no answer. Then he moved closer and said, “Can you hear me?” Still no answer. Finally he got up behind her chair and said right into her ear, “Can you hear me?” She looked him in the eye and said, “For the fourth time, yes!” Psychologists call this “projection.” We tend to project our fears, feelings, and problems onto others. But you must not let people do this to you. Lady Astor, a member of the British Parliament, was a constant thorn in the side of Winston Churchill, always criticizing him. One day the two of them got into a heated conversation and she said, “Winston, I don’t like your politics, and I don’t like your mustache.” He looked at her and said, “Madam, I see no earthly reason why you should ever come into contact with either one.” Jesus’ critics accused Him of being demon-possessed. Paul’s critics called him a madman, a fool, and a babbler. And you must not expect different treatment at the hands of the same crowd. So the word for you today is: Stay focused and don’t get distracted.