August 28, 2018

Restorative Practices Framework and GOSSIP

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When the Walking Together program of EduDeo introduces Restorative Practices as way to develop healthy cultures in the classroom, the staffroom and the school or organization….we do so because we wish to help repair broken relationships due to a host of unhealthy behaviours. Scriptures call us to a life of love and to a new life as God’s chosen people.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Colossians 3

One of the topics that we discussed with our Belizean colleagues was the harm that is caused by gossip, or talking behind other peoples’ backs.  The gossip causes triangulation which means that we don’t directly talk to the person that we are upset with but with others all around that person.  There are a host of problems with this approach one of them being that the story about a person gets blown out of proportion and may not even be true.  When the topic was presented, the group that presented talked about our lips being “hot tamales”…..the gossip burns our lips and is “hot” to share.  Everyone related to the topic and everyone knew that gossip was insidious and harmful.  Restorative practices gave our participants a way to honourably, respectfully deal with others and to name the problem or issue in a way that wasn’t angry, or judgmental.  Restorative practices gave us a way to live into the vision that Paul describes in Colossians 3.

All Christians everywhere need to discuss how we as communities will deal with gossip and triangulation.  With our friends and colleagues in Belize, we went deep into the topic in order to create new ways of living and loving in our schools and communities.

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