[From Pastor Steven Furtick by sf]
It happened again the other day! The conversation was going so well. I was actually kind of surprised when the person I was talking to (who I was meeting for the first time) just had to go there. Now, there was no way this guy could have known that the pastor he was about to slander was a pretty good friend of mine.
So I think it threw him for a loop when I stopped him mid-sentence and served notice: “I really don’t want to continue this conversation. The pastor you’re speaking against is a great man of God. You don’t even know him, I know him and care for him a whole lot. So I think it would be beneficial to both of us for you to stop maligning his character right now. I don’t want to hear it.”
Maybe part of the reason I’m so protective of other pastors and prominent men of God is that I’ve experienced the frustration of hearing things about yourself that aren’t true. It’s freaky when everybody’s a self proclaimed expert on you. And the less they actually know you, the louder they talk about you.
There have been several times in my ministry that I heard something negative about a well known minister of the Gospel, and took it at face value. Then, months or years later, I’d have the opportunity to actually meet and get to know that person a little bit. And a funny thing happened. When I was able to know them as people and not just personalities, I realized that most of the gossip that is perpetrated as truth is absolutely baseless and unfounded.
So, if I ever have the privilege of getting to meet you and have a conversation with you, let’s just establish one ground rule: If you have something critical and detrimental to share about a fellow minister of the Gospel, I simply don’t want to hear it. We’ve got better things to talk about! Like how God is using your life, the opportunities He’s providing for you to make a bigger impact, or the things He’s teaching you in your personal life.