Did you over hear someone talking about another? What did you do? Join in, walk on by ignoring the conversation or step in and say, "We shouldn't be sharing things that do not concern us and it's not nice to talk about her when she isn't even hear to defend herself"? If we all could only step in and say the truth, but too many times we just walk on by or stop and listen, only to pass on what we hear later to another.
My wise Pastor shares, "If your not part of the problem or the solution do not talk about it." When it comes down to it isn't that true? If we are not in the problem and solution should we really be talking about something we really know nothing about? We can over hear a few comments made by another and think we have the truth and the whole story down. What happens is that as that story is passed on to others it changes, its added on to, and people are hurt for no good reason other than people love to talk.
If we spent more time thinking about ourselves and our own mistakes instead of pointing out all others and thinking we know how to correct them we would be the Christians we are called to be. Like my mom use to say, "You need to sweep off your own porch before you begin sweeping off another."
I remember when my girls left home, boy did the gossip train begin. I heard all kinds of things others were saying, and it hurt. It hurt for one because I was already hurting and those talking made it worse. It hurt because those talking had no idea of the truth of the matter. And they didn't stick around to see the pain they were causing themselves.
It's easy to add in, "Did you hear about Sherrie? Can you believe he did that? Oh my, they aren't even married!" Why do we feel the need to share about others? Does it make us feel more important? Does it make us feel righteous? What we are really saying is, "I have never made mistakes and I would never do such a thing." We are also forgetting the grace and mercy of the God of heaven. When we stand before Him, we will not be there for what others did or did not do, we will stand before Him for the lives WE lived. If it doesn't have to do with eternity does it really matter all that much? Is it really worth hurting another by talking about them?
I wouldn't want another to have to walk in the shoes I have walked in through pain and hurt. No one knows the real story of our lives unless they have lived it with us. So, it comes down to, "Does it really matter what others say and think?" There is no courage in gossip. But there is courage in standing tall against that gossip being said. There is courage in living our lives and not paying attention to those who love to talk and add so much more to our lives by just their words.
Our tongues are evil and we can all get caught up in gossip. We gossip about others, but when its about us, we get angry and think, "How could they?" For all those who have gossiped about me, I am learning not to care. I am learning their words mean nothing to me. When I take my last breath I will not be standing in front of the people here on this earth who choose to judge me. I will stand before a Holy God who will judge my life.
On either side of gossip it is hurtful, when your gossiping you just don't realize the hurt your causing to yourself until its too late. Gossip is sinful and its in our nature to wag our tongues about others, but we can overcome. We can be better than the ugly words we love to share. We can be the Christians God has called us to be. We can love our neighbors as He loves us. We can reach out in love to those who have made mistakes or are hurting instead of stomping them further into the ground. Isn't the hurt we are feeling bad enough? Who are we to pick up a stone and throw it at another?
As my mom use to say, "I would rather someone just spit on me than say mean words to me." You can wash that spit off, but those words? Those words are there to stay deep within our hearts.
If today you are having a problem with another go to that person in private and speak to them in love. Don't go to your friends and others speaking of them about all that is going wrong or what that person did. Two people can solve a problem, three can spread gossip like wild fire and do more damage and harm to the heart than ever intended. We don't really intend to hurt others with our words, but we do sometimes without meaning to. As Christians we like to say, "We aren't gossiping, we are just sharing prayer requests." God knows our requests before they are spoken, He doesn't need others to share what He already knows.
Proverbs 11:13 "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."
Proverbs 16:28 "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends."
Proverbs 26:20 "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down."
Sadly just as I have been gossiped about I too have been on the gossip train that takes us no where but to shame.
But for the grace of God there go I. Never point at another things you do not understand and never try to understand things you are not part of. The first step in overcoming gossip is asking yourself, "Would I want others to say these things about me?"