What do you feel when you hear/read the word gossip? Most people when asked that question say they don’t like it; they think it’s wrong. The word gossip is a noun and means: “Idle talk, rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of another.”
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United.
Recently I was at a function with people I’ve known for a while, people that I truly care about – I have to be careful here because I don’t want to go down that slippery slope of gossiping! Anyway, one person in particular began the gossip fest with “What do you think of your new church”? The tone was one of sarcasm and I know it’s based on her own experiences with the church and the pastor. As I write this and rewind the evening, I remember I started to go down that slippery slope with her…but stopped her gossip train by sharing with her this truth: “As I’ve said before, I have based my opinions on him, and the church on my own experiences.”
As I went from group to group, there were a couple of people who every time I went around them, they were talking about someone different, and it was like they were pulling from each other what they could to find out what the other thought of the person they were talking about. I sat in silence with another bystander and said absolutely nothing at all. AWKWARD! The truth is oftentimes, people are talking about others because of their own need to fit in, feel as though they belong. It doesn’t make it right but it helps to understand this so as to not participate in it. I’ve been the recipient of the harsh harm that gossip can cause; and though I’m not completely rid of this sneaky, slithering tendency that creeps in at the most unsuspecting times, I’d like to think that He and I have a better grasp on it rather than gossiping grasping me.
As the evening progressed, one of the party of two was sitting next to me and before I knew it, she leaned over and began to whisper about the other’s son and asking if I had seen the post on Facebook having to do with what she was talking about. I let her finish and then I looked her straight in the eyes and just said gently but matter-of-factly: “What if that was his need at the time and he didn’t do it with the intention that you’re implying? What if what you’re thinking isn’t accurate?”
Well that was like a splash of cold water on a cold day!
Why do we feel the need to talk about others? Is it really about the other person, or more about us?
When we gossip about another person, it says more about us than about the one we’re talking about!
Gossip is like alcohol, legal but deadly! It causes so much damage. Father, help us to live by the golden rule: If we don’t have nothing nice to say about another, let us say nothing at all. Set a guard, O Lord, over our mouths. Help us to keep watch over the door of our lips.
Learning and unlearning