I’m appalled at the frequency I hear someone with otherwise common sense start to bad-mouth another person. These days it’s often critical of a previous boss, a co-worker, the President, a spouse or someone whose success is greater than their own.
Why is it that negatives spew out so easily when they are directed at another living, breathing person? I believe there is a process of destruction that destroys the speaker – certainly more than affecting the target.
And in today’s technology and communication world it’s pretty risky. How many times have we seen a stray comment, a nasty email, a quick cell phone call or a FaceBook note end up haunting the sender of that message? Would you really want that person to hear the message straight from your mouth?
In a famous written piece from the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon) we read: “Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.” (Ecc. 10:20 NLT)
Losing a job can hurt and injure your pride. Having your house flooded with no flood insurance can be a tremendous blow. Finding out the bank will not renew your business loan can be a set-back. But hurling insults and finding a person to blame harms only your own ability to see positive steps forward. Those bridges you’re burning may contain the very concrete, wood and support forms you need to build a new road.