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Tag Archives: gossip

My Opening Monologue

Opening monologues are usually found at the beginning of cable and radio talk shows.  This serves as an outline for a daily program, guiding discussion for the day.  In the past few months, I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern.  While freedom of speech exists in theory, its appears that powerful figures within America fueled by a secular worldview are using exaggeration, gossip and lies to distort the truth.  Subsequently, alternative, conservative and progressive minds are waging war in the media attempting to gain the support of a majority of Americans.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered, Proverbs 11:3.

Whether this is accomplished through hacking, leaking or spying on individuals, I’m surprised that no voice of reason has intervened.  Why hasn’t there been an outcry proclaiming, “we’ve gone too far.” What happened to honest civilized debates where the best and brightest ideas decide the outcome.  Rather, a lack of standards has caused cable news, print media and social media to invoke smear campaigns on anyone who does not hold their political view.  At some point, people are going to tune out completely.

To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people, Titus 3:2.

The apostle Paul has a plan to reverse this current trend of cruelty and mean spirited words.  First, don’t attack the person, address disagreements with dignity and respect.  Second, when you reach a point of tension, be gentle in the words that you chose.  Finally, follow the golden rule by treating others as you want to be treated with courtesy.  There will always be conflict, disagreements and power struggles, but if this is done in a civil manner, decency will be restored.  May these words give people a sense of hope for restoration and unity.

by Jay Mankus

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Lies Gone Wild

To elicit attention from late night consumers of television, Girls Gone Wild took pornography to a new low, seeking drunk college students to bare everything for attention and fame.  A similar movement that received far less attention, author Wendy Shalit founded Girls Gone Mild to instill modesty within young women.  In recent days, a new fad is sweeping the nation, luring men and women to participate in lies gone wild.

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21.

During one of my first years of teaching high school, a few students broke into my room, logged on to my computer and created a fake My Space Account in my name.  Unaware of this site, rumors began to spread which initially tarnished my reputation.  A few years later, a friend developed a couple of mock EduBlogs to show me the type of technology I could incorporate into my curriculum.  Unfortunately, these were never deleted leading to a trip to my principle’s office.  Evidently, this site suggested I was a faith healer who charged $25 per healing.  I can laugh about it now, but when gossip is full blown lies run wild.

Reject every kind of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

As I listen to hourly news updates, it appears that Democrats and Republicans are daily participating in this venture in one way or another.  Some facts are taken out of context.  Others’ words are distorted to imply a controversial view.  Meanwhile, a few are down right nasty, exaggerating and lying to convince the America people that their side is correct.  Ascertaining what the truth is valuable, but when opinions are being argued, absolutes do not apply.  Thus, before you believe the next thing you hear, read online or see, test everything so that society will put an end to lies gone wild.

by Jay Mankus

Trampled

Every year panic triggers some sort of horrific event.  Whether its at a concert, escaping a fire or fleeing a terrorist attack, fear often leads to individuals to trample upon anyone who gets in the way.  In 2008, a Walmart employee from Long Island, New York died after wild shoppers on Black Friday began running to claim limited specials once the doors were opened.

But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd, Acts 17:5.

Unfortunately, there is more than one way to be trampled.  Anyone who uses social media can be verbally run over following a post that offends and upsets followers.  Several teenagers have committed suicide in the past 5 years shortly after being bullied, embarrassed or harassed by their peers.  While some of the content posted was self-inflicted, a spirit of gossip is encouraging many to pile on with one sarcastic comment after the other.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends, Proverbs 16:28.

I hope that some day soon the citizens of America will come to their senses.  Sure, I like a good laugh, but it appears the line between right and wrong has shrunk.  Subsequently, innocent people are being trampled and discarded without any remorse or sorrow.  Trashing anyone who disagrees with your worldview is not the answer.  Instead, may God have mercy on us, extend grace to the hurting and save this divided nation from further trampling.

by Jay Mankus

 

Words from Heaven and Hell

Greetings like good morning, how are you, how was your weekend and hey are everyday expressions which promote conversation.  The Bible suggests that words can represent heaven or hell depending upon the context, manner and tone which is spoken.  Thus, before you begin another work week, be careful in the words that you choose.

The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream, Proverbs 18:4.

The apostle Paul uses the analogy known as fruits of the spirit to identify words from heaven.  Anything that reflects love, joy and peace uplift those who hear these traces of heaven.  The remaining characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 encourage action, not just words.  Coaches, parents and teacher who adorn children within a loving environment promote a fountain of wisdom as described by Solomon.

The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating, Proverbs 18:6.

Unfortunately, the words of hell are much more prevalent in today’s culture.  Whether its critics within the media, gossip or tweets filled with venom, the sinful nature is in full display weekly.  Those exposed to only the negative can become jaded, losing the will to live.  Therefore, the next time you have the opportunity to add a comment to a conversation, choose the words of heaven.

by Jay Mankus

Fostering Love

The concept of foster care in the United States was inspired by Charles Loring Brace.  In the middle of the 19th century, Brace’s heart was torn by the thousands of homeless children living in the slums of New York City.  Brace believed that these children would do much better if placed into a farm setting with Christian families living in the country.  Thus, the Orphan Train movement was born, transporting more than 100,00 children from 1853-1890.

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends, Proverbs 17:9.

In the Old Testament, King Solomon encouraged the Israelites to foster love.  Anyone can point out someone’s flaws.  Yet, when attacked human beings tend to go on the defensive. Whether words spoken are in the form of exaggerations, in gest or gossip, any brash decision usually divides and separates relationships.  Therefore, when push comes to shove, its better to foster love by overlooking any offense against you.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

The apostle Paul addresses a similar issue during the first century.  Unfortunately, love was becoming just another word, void of meaning.  In their prime, DC Talk sang above Love is a Verb.  Love is meant to be exercised through selfless acts.  Sure, family may verbalize their love but without any sincere demonstration these terms of endearment are empty.  In view of the negativity fueled by a press upset after their candidate didn’t become president elect, turn the other cheek by fostering love.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Attitudes Impact

In the ESPN 30 for 30 entitled, the Gospel According to Mac, former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCarthy recounts his quest to bring the Buffalo’s a national championship.  One of the overriding themes involves learning how to motivate each player who respond differently to criticism, failure and mistakes.  During the second hour of this 2 hour documentary, the founding of Promise Keepers is covered through a series of clips from old speeches.  One excerpt includes a quote on attitudes, claiming a person’s attitude is four times more important as their overall talent.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, Philippians 2:14.

Attitude is one of those qualities which usually remains hidden until adversity arrives.  However, in the heat of the moment, pose is tested.  Attitudes are directly proportional to feelings expressed through body language and words.  Depending upon the individual, stored up emotion can explode, unleashed in the form of complaints, gossip or pessimism.  According to the apostle Paul, this is nothing new as attitudes can impact a group, family or an entire neighborhood.  Like a vulnerable forest in seasons of extreme drought, any spark can trigger devastating fires.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5.

To overcome this potential threat, the apostle Paul believes the cure to this condition lies in the obtaining a specific mindset.  Despite being the son of God, Jesus became humble taking the nature of a servant.  Jesus set the model for what attitude should resemble.  However, this isn’t something you can do on your own.  Rather, transformation begins with faith by grace.  When you place your trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit serves as a counselor to fashion and mold your attitude.  The end goal is to acquire a Christ like mindset.  This may take a life time to achieve, but an attitude’s impact can alter lives for eternity.

by Jay Mankus

 

Mouths of Fire

According to the site Crazy Hot Seeds, the top 3 hottest peppers in the world for 2016 are the Carolina Reaper, the hottest, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion ranking second and the third is 7 Pot Douglah.  In recent years, restaurants are offering daring individuals a free meal or shirt for eating spicy dishes or peppers.  Some even offer a wall of fame with victorious eaters having their pictures and or names engraved on plaques hanging on restaurant walls.  Unfortunately, the losers are left with mouths on fire or a worst case scenario for a cook from London, losing his hearing after eating the world’s spiciest noodles.

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape, Proverbs 11:9.

King Solomon refers to a different kind of mouths on fire in the Bible.  Whether Solomon engaged in people watching or received this revelation from God, individuals who like to talk a lot can ruin the lives of their neighbors.  Like a snake, tongues can spit venom upon those whom they dislike, lashing out with words instead of fangs.  While the childhood saying, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me” seems nice, but its untrue.  Deep inside human souls, scars and wounds remain long after words have been spoken.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell, James 3:6.

Jesus’ younger brother also recognized that words are like a mouth set on fire.  When accompanied by anger, words can be like daggers, stabbing friends in the back in the form of gossip.   Before you reach this point, its vital to find the knowledge to escape the temptation to hurt those you love with a poor choice of vocabulary.  Although you can’t escape mouths of fire, you can control what comes out of your own mouth.  May the words of the Bible give you direction, insight and wisdom to tame mouths of fire.

by Jay Mankus

 

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