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Home The Light Articles from 1999 Speak A Good Word

Speak A Good Word

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Speak A Good Word

If you say anything about a neighbor or friend, or even a stranger, say no ill. It is a Christian and brotherly charity to suppress our knowledge of evil of one another, unless our higher Christian or public duty compels us to bear accusing witness. And if it be true charity to keep our knowledge of such evils to ourselves, much more should we refuse to spread evil report of one another.

Discreditable as the fact is, it is by far the commonest tendency to suppress the good we know of our neighbors and friends. We act in this matter as though we felt that by pushing our fellows down or back a peg we were putting ourselves up and forward. We are jealous of commendation unless we get the larger share.

Social conversation, as known to every observer, is largely made up of what is best understood by the term "scandal." It would be difficult to find a talkative group, of either sex, who could spend an evening or an hour together without evil speech of someone. "Blessed are the peace-makers" is not the maxim by which we are chiefly governed in our treatment of personalities. Better a thousand times, stand or sit dumb than to open our lips ever so eloquently in the disparagement of others.

What we should do in this, as in all our human relations, is to practice the golden rule. If we do unto others as we would that others should do unto us, we shall be exceedingly careful not to volunteer ill words about them. When other than a good word is to be spoken, let it be spoken to the person concerned, that he may know your motive is not idle, cowardly and sinister, and that he may have a chance to defend himself. —Anonymous



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