I have never understood why we take so much interest in the affairs of others and go to such great lengths to find the dirt on them. Celebrities, of course, are prime targets as evidenced by the popularity of tabloid magazines like Confidential with a monthly circulation in excess of ten million, and its competitors with names such as Whisper, Dare, Hush-Hush, and Uncensored, which provide lurid details about the infidelity, arrests, and drug addictions of the rich and famous.
I suppose we do this because we might never reach where the Brad Pitts and Angela Jolies of the world have reached, and it is satisfying to see that they have feet of clay. But what pleasure do we get from uncovering dirt about ordinary people like our colleagues at work or our neighbors who we don't even talk to? Is it to feel superior to them? And when we have uncovered dirt on someone, why do we spread it around like confetti? What we are doing is engaging in slander. Did you know the word "devil" is derived from the Greek diabolos, meaning "slanderer"? Scripture is very stern in its warnings to those who gossip and slander, and Jesus doesn't mince words when he says: "For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:37)
Why don't we stop looking for the dirt on people and start searching for the gold in them instead? It is what Jesus does with us. We are a sinful, pathetic lot, and if God didn't have the patience he has, he would have given up on us a long time ago as hopeless cases. He doesn't because he looks for the goodness in us, not the badness, and he sees a lot of it!
If we can do that too, looking at people with eyes that search for the good in them rather than the bad, we will all be able to lead much happier lives, and our relationships would be much healthier. And if the goodness in a person is buried deep inside them because of years of abuse or pain or rejection or neglect (or a combination of everything), we can try to bring it out, much like God tries to bring out the goodness in us with patient love.
It will make God feel so happy if he sees us looking for gold rather than dirt because — yet again — in doing so, we show ourselves to be children who have understood their Father's heart. And as it says in the book of Proverbs: "Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it" (Proverbs 11:27). Let us seek good and find favor from God. I am sure we could all use some favor.
May the Spirit be with you.