Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Not Your Story

One of the blessings and challenges of having multiples is the fact that they are together so much. It is not just home, but school, Sunday School, etc., their after school activities are the only real break they get from each other in social situations--and sometimes even those are the same. As a result of all this togetherness, they tend to be in-the-know about exactly what the others are up to at all times.

I know that when they are teens I may be very thankful for all of the accountability, but at this age it is a slippery slope between tattling for the right reasons (safety) and the wrong ones (gloating in someone else getting in trouble). As with most anything in life, it boils down to heart attitude and motive. When you are seven that can be hard to identify, much less keep in check.

This afternoon one of my children climbed into my car practically bursting with news to report. He started a less than stellar report and his sister did burst...into tears. "That's not your story!" she cried, "I told you I would tell Mom. It is my story NOT yours."

Although this is language we have practiced, it seared my heart today...I was immediately convicted of times I have 'told someone else's story.' Grown ups have another name for it: gossip.
And like my 7 year olds, I have to be willing to constantly ask myself: Is this my story? What good would come from me sharing it?

Earlier this Summer my pastor was preaching through the Ten Commandments. I was struck by his approach to 'bearing false witness.' He reminded our congregation to not get caught up on the word false to the point that we miss the greater meaning. He cautioned us to remember that just because something is true doesn't mean we have the right to share it.

As we testify about people in our life, we should treat their name with the same respect we would want ours to be treated. Ouch. This is a practical way to "love your neighbor as you love yourself." Love your neighbor's image/reputation as you love your own.

I am NOT writing this as one who has it figured out. I write as one who needs reminding.

Lord, before I speak help me to ask: Is this my story? Is this necessary/helpful to share? Would I want my name mentioned in this way? Lord, open my heart more and shut my mouth when necessary.


Kelly said...

I love this phrase. A lot of my co-workers and I teach at training camps for our mission trips and share parts of our stories. We always begin by telling the participants these are our stories to tell, not theirs. So even though we're choosing to share details with them, those details don't become their property to share. Love the thoughts about the 10 commandments too. It's not just about what we shouldn't do, but about actually honoring each other with the words that we speak. I long to be able to truly honor the people around me with my words AND my actions!

Pam said...

I had this lesson from the Lord today, too, and a dear friend gave me this verse that I've posted where I won't miss it. It is this:

"Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3 (NIV)

Thanks for being another tool in God's refining box for me today, JMom. I love how sweetly He teaches me, right along with your precious ones!

boomama said...

I had MAJOR conviction about this about a year and a half ago. Was walking down the hall thinking about something that would make a great blog post, and way down deep in my heart I heard, "It's not your story to tell." It's something I have to think about every single day - and I loved this reminder from you tonight. Thanks, J. :-)

Rubies and Rewards said...

Love the thought of "Love your neighbor's image/reputation as you love your own." Great reminder for me and great thing to teach my boys.

HW said...

I can just feel K's pain as she pleads with her brother not to tell her story. We've all been there...on both sides of it, I'm
What a poignant lesson for all of us to be reminded of this.

Jaclyn said...

What a great reminder! Thank you!

Love Being A Nonny said...

I try SO HARD to remember this with my adult children. It seems like it should still be MY story. Thank you for the reminder.

Shelly said...

Just ran across your blog. Enjoyed reading!

Nikki said...

That's an especially good reminder now that school is back in session and we'll be hearing more about other children/families now that we see more people more often. Thanks!

Kathleen said...

This is so true. Thanks for sharing.