This morning in church the sermon dealt with the subject of gossip, what it is, why we do it and what are its results? Don’t we all love to be in the know? To be the first to discover some tidbit or morsel of salacious information. To be able to say casually when a subject is brought up “Oh, yes, well of course, I’ve known about that for a while”. We like to hug the information to our chests like a delicious secret. It feeds our spirit and tastes good going down but when we begin to repeat and regurgitate what we know then we are bringing destruction on ourselves.
Being a Christian and going to church and hearing sermons like this is uncomfortable sometimes. They demand that we hold up a mirror to our lives and examine our motives. To be honest I could do without that. I like to think I’m quite a nice person really although the Bible tells me my righteousness is like filthy rags. I want to please God though so it is important that I look at my behaviour. I like to think that if I were to speak about someone to someone else it would be out of concern and for their benefit, because I care about them.
Unfortunately this is patently untrue. I admit it, I’m a gossip sometimes and I don’t feel good about it. This morning’s sermon was a timely intervention. Just before this morning’s meeting I had told a friend I could do with talking to them about another friend. I honestly thought it was something that needed saying. I am worried about said friend and not sure what to do about it. But hearing this sermon made me think twice.
When we gossip about someone or don’t stop someone being gossiped about (this is implied consent) we are hurting that person. That person is not there to defend themselves. When people are going through a difficult time they need our help and support not our criticism. In a way we are tearing down our brothers and sisters who may already be in a precarious situation. If we gossip about a friend we are really saying our friendship is not genuine. We are saying the satisfaction we get from being in the know is more important than they are.
You already know from my previous posts that my husband and I are going through a challenging time. I won’t give details because I don’t want to . Needless to say in all your wildest imaginings you wouldn’t be right. And now you really want to know don’t you? My husband and I at the moment are not in a position to defend ourselves. And much as I love my friends and family the only person I would want to defend myself to is God, and He sees me through Jesus anyway. I would imagine that in some areas we are a subject of gossip, I can’t say this doesn’t hurt particularly when it feels unmerited.
Whatever reasons we may feel we are entitled to talk about others, examine our motives first. Are you doing it because you want to be the first in the know? Do you really have that persons interest at heart? Are you doing it out of peer pressure because everyone else in your group is doing it too? If that’s the case don’t be naive enough not to realise that as soon as your back is turned you will be the next subject of gossip. Are you doing it to punish someone who did not do what they said they would? Tha’ts no way to mend a relationship, that’s a way to break it.
Try to imagine if all the gossip centred on you. How would you feel?
With regards to my own dilemma I am going to sincerely look at my motives and pray for wisdom before I even think of speaking out. Gossip is not harmless tittle-tattle. Gossip ruins lives and marriages and homes. Gossip divides friends. Gossip splits churches. Gossip grieves God.
As they say use the THINK acronym. Before you speak ask yourself is it true?Is it helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? if not, maybe it’s better left unsaid. (not my quote).
Till next time.
This is my 3rd NaBloPoMo post.