There is no coincidence that the two middle letters in the word goSSip hiss when you say it. Talking and sharing is how women bond. Gossiping is considered normal and okay in our society…after all, that’s what sells magazines and reality television. But, how many of us have been hurt by it as well? And how much of it has been true in the first place? Or then has it been a betrayal by someone we trusted with our heart and secrets?
I have loved gossiping. It’s true, it made me feel like I’m not the only one with problems…and hearing about other people’s issues made me feel a little superior and righteous as well. Admit it…you have felt the same way…after all, we wouldn’t make THOSE mistakes…how can THEY be so stupid?!! We can see what they are doing wrong, and it makes life a little easier for us.
It’s taken many years for me to open my eyes. Not because I can’t see what I’ve taken part in…but because I didn’t want to. We try to make ourselves feel better by being “concerned” about someone and so “sharing” isn’t so bad. After all, maybe this person listening can share in our burden, and together we can pray for the one with all the troubles. But, truth be told…do we really then turn around and pray for them? Does the story stop spreading? And how can we really know if what we told someone hasn’t been misconstrued and then spread further with a totally different twist?
It is obvious that gossip is wrong. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about it. It says in James 3: 5, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” This verse compares gossip to the start of a forest fire..it only takes a match! Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” We can keep ourselves out of trouble…if we control our mouth. For the last few years I have felt a strong conviction in this matter. I try to ask myself before saying something…”would the person that I am talking about appreciate what I am saying? Am I saying something that builds and praises someone? If this gets back to them, can I own up to saying this?” Sometimes we do need to mention another person in conversation…make sure your motives are pure, and say it in a way that, if that said person was in the same room, then you could look them in the eyes and be comfortable.
No one benefits from gossip, including the person doing it. Just remember the old saying…”if they are talking behind someone else’s back, can you imagine what they are saying behind yours?” Let’s keep each other accountable. And instead of bringing others down, let’s lift them up. No one is perfect, and that is what makes us all so interesting!