The first impression I was given was the importance of being careful what we listen to. Does it match with what our minds should dwell on? Does it plant negative attitudes in our hearts? Does it stand the Philippians 4:8 test? "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
I believe it means we also need to be careful who we listen to. It doesn't usually take very long to decide if someone already has a grudge against someone. If they are holding bitterness, are they really a reliable source to report on the actions of someone? Are they a fair judge of character? Should we really allow their opinion to color ours? (Um....no) Are we really giving the other person a fair shake if we aren't willing to listen to who God says they are?
Most people have enough of their own baggage without taking on the baggage of another person. I know I don't have room to take up an offense for others (that doesn't mean I don't catch myself doing it). We can be quick to form opinions about the motives of others. We are so accustom to hearing that we need to be careful with what we say but we need to be just as careful with what we hear. There really shouldn't be a need to burden ourselves any further. We are warned against the dangers of the tongue, of gossip, bitterness and character assassination. We would do well to close ourselves off from listening to it as well.
The next time someone begins to tell you their story about the wrong treatment someone has subjected them to or even the mistreatment of a friend, listen with your heart. Purpose to seek the truth outside of the hurts. Help the wounded find the path to forgiveness and don't be afraid to be bold. To encourage forgiveness and restoration makes you a peacemaker!
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is one of those places that grace can speak loud and clear and really, grace is always the right answer.