One of the things that has struck me as I preached through the Beatitudes was the word 'story.'
We all have a story, yet our perception of our story and the reality, or the truth of our story can be so different.
Sadly, what happens when we tell our story, or we tell a story in which we don't know the entire story, but we act like we do, is that we end up speaking out of our own neediness and hurt. As a result, the truth is not really the truth, it becomes distorted. The sad thing about this is the fact that more often than not, the issue was not all that complicated, we do that ourselves.
It makes needing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all the more necessary in our lives. Besides that, people put words in our mouths which were never there to start with.
When someone tells you a story, know they are sharing part of their life with you, but if other people are involved, then know that is not the entire story, it is only a part of the story. I have noticed in the church world, especially, we only tell bits and pieces of the story, then we seek to gain people on our side, at the expense of the church. That's not healthy, we call it human nature, I call it sin. If you are not saying something nice, don't say it. Don't tell stories about others you would not say to their face.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.