We do it so much our children pick up the habit and then we find ourselves telling them, "Now, that isn't nice to say. You shouldn't speak about someone if they aren't in the room." But, when your child recites back, "Well gosh mom, you do it all the time", that might be a cue there is a problem.
Do we really think if we are with a friend and they begin gossiping about someone, they really aren't going to gossip about us? You know and the sad thing is, we don't do it to be mean. We just seem to think we need to know what's going on in the lives of everyone around us. Gossip doesn't belong in the word, "Friendship". It doesn't belong anywhere.
Gossip isn't as tasty as we think it is. But in fact, it's downright bitter. It leaves a nasty taste in your mouth and a foul oder in the air. Those little morsels aren't so tasty when you find that they are about you. Do we really ever think about our words and what they do to others? The words we spread to another, they then spread and it doesn't just stop there. Those ugly words get twisted and until finally the person who the words were spoken about hear them for the first time. Do we really think they smile about them? Does it bring them joy? Do we treat it like it's a great gift? No, if it was a gift we would go straight to that person and say it with a smile. But we don't. We wait until no one is looking and we are careful to whisper so others don't hear, unless of course we are in a group, sitting around a camp fire, speaking of people who are not even present!
Our fruit should reflect the Lord and His Spirit of love. Our fruit should be spread with kindness and compassion, bringing joy to every recipient. Gossip fruit is that fruit you see on the ground rotting away. You start to pick it up because it appears to look good, until you have it in your hand and see the rotten side and all the worms crawling out into our hand.
Our words carry power. Words can bring people to Christ or they can turn them away from Christ all together. Why would someone want to be part of a church that gossips right there in the pew? Why would you want to be in a circle of friends if you know as soon as you walk out of the room your name is going to be whispered? There is nothing sweet about gossip. There is nothing fragrant in those words spoken of another.
If we wouldn't want to speak those words in front of the one we are speaking of then we shouldn't be speaking them at all. Not that our lives are any one's business, but if it were, or if we were really concerned, why not just go to that person in love and ask? Why go to another who knows nothing of the truth?
When we waste our precious time in gossip, those are minutes we could be speaking the gospel. We could be sharing a testimony. We could be asking a friend, "How are you doing?" Do we really want gossip to be part of our legacy? Is that what we want to leave behind? No one likes a gossip, but we all want to be part of it. We all want to know what's really going on. Goodness, what is wrong with us? Seriously.
I have had so many things said about me. It use to break my heart. I use to wonder, "How can they do that? They don't even have a clue of the truth." But then I realized, why should I waste my time worrying about what others think? Why am I so concerned with who likes me and who doesn't? There are people who walk right past me and never say a single word to me, but wait until my back is turned. Why be two-faced? If you have something to say, say it. If not, keep it to yourself and don't repeat things you don't know. Why do we do this to each other? Life is hard enough. Why not lift one another up in love. May we be willing to give the same love to those around us that we want to receive.
What would be nice is if we really lived a Christian attitude and loved those around us. It would be nice if we treated others as we want to be treated. We should think of the example we give to our children and the legacy we leave behind. We find gossip in every family and in all circles of life. It doesn't have to be there. It's there because we allow it.
Today can be that day we walk away from the gossip circle. We can not only make a change in our life, but in the life of another by simply saying, "Hey, lets not talk about Marcie." It takes two people to gossip. Two, my friends. We should stand in our Christian faith and stop looking into the lives of others and focus on our relationship with Christ.
There are many things we could be spreading instead of rotten fruit, like love, joy and peace. Throw that rotten bite away and don't pass it on to another. Instead, pick up some laughter and toss it around. Grab for some joy and spread it with a smile. Share the hope of Christ and all He is doing in your life. If we can't find good things to talk about, well then, we might just need to quiet ourselves for a while until we do.
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23
“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man [or woman] who talks too much” Proverbs 20:19
“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” Proverbs 11:12-13
“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” Proverbs 16:28
“A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts” Proverbs 18:7-8
"Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
Lord, thank You for the gift of today. May we use today to spread Your love and joy to others. Help us be good stewards of every gift you give us. Give us strength to overcome our struggles of gossip. Turn our evil words into speech that is edifying to You. May we bring glory and honor to You through not only our words, but our actions as well. Help us to be women of virtue and stand in honor and not only have respect for those around us, but for ourselves. May we not waste our time today spreading gossip, nor listening to gossip, but stopping it in it's tracks and putting an end to the rotten trail of deceit. May our words be fragrant and pure. Holding truth in our heart as we focus on You and Your will for us today.