There are few things more painful, frustrating, and frequent as hidden conversations. People talking about other people without their knowledge or presence, accurate information not required, conclusions drawn and shared widely. The habit is widely distributed in our culture, with little or no thought given as to the moral, ethical, and relational impact. People who participate are often virtually unaccountable.
Last night, I saw a fresh example of how painful these conversations can be for the person touched. The mindlessness of the acts are staggering! It is too easy to be judgmental. Clearly there is no easy justification. Just a clearly the people involved did not think of what they were and are doing. Perhaps that is what bothers me the most. People are hurting other people without even thinking about the pain they are creating. Everyone participating in gossip, or purposeful people conversations, without accurate information on the table or an attempt to be open and honest with everyone involved, shares in the responsibility.
What do you do with this type of problem? There are two pieces to the answer. First is the approach, second is the examination and actions related to our role.
First, God’s way is very clear. “God decided on this course of action in full view of the public – to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured.” (Romans 3.26) Everything with God is out in the open with all interested parties involved and any challenges accepted. God does not attack each incident, rather waits until the right situation presents itself so he can deal with the real issues. God deal with the problems, not the symptoms.
Last night, I saw what happens when I work to elevate myself at others expense. God promises to deal with things that are not right, situations where revenge seems the only course of action, and politics. There is only one answer to sin, Jesus sacrifice. There is only one way to eliminate hidden conversations, hide in God.