“Let nothing be said about anyone unless it passes through the three sieves: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” (Amy Carmichael).
I think we could avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict and grief if we paused before we spoke of others. There would be a lot less gossip and hearsay. There would be a lot less derogatory comments about others. In fact, there’d be a lot less talking (which is probably a good thing).
I think a certain passage from the Bible is helpful when deciding how to speak to and about others:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (Philippians 4:8-9, The Message).
If you think on things that are true, reputable, authentic, and so on, you will speak these things. You will live these things. You will be known for these things. If you are constantly seeking God’s face through His word and prayer, then these attributes will become a part of who you are and will naturally flow out of you. Then you will be a true peacemaker.