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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coffee Time Video #3! Are You a Gossip?

Proverbs 18:7-8 (MSG) says:
Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
Listening to  gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you really want junk like that in your belly?
Ouch.
I am smarting from how close to home that hits me (like, right-in-the-center-of-my-living-room, close!)

I cannot tell you the number of times I have gossiped about someone under the guise of "asking for prayer" or "seeking wisdom". For sure, there are times when seeking wise counsel is necessary, but that line gets blurred too often in an attempt to rally support or to have my ego stroked--or simply because I want to chew the fat about someone!

If I am in conflict with someone, it's SOOOOOO easy to go to someone else asking for advice and then vomit up a list of the other person in the conflict's shortcomings. Sooo easy. 

I am trying to learn the difference between genuinely seeking counsel and merely trying to get someone in "my corner" who will reassure me that I am right and the other person is wrong. 

I am horrified at the thought that someone talks negatively about me behind my back. Yet, I know it has happened. When it gets back to me, it's hurtful, it makes me mad, and any trust between myself and the person who spoke about me is damaged, at best. 

If talking about someone else isn't because of a conflict, and I just feel like talking about someone else, I really need to examine why I want to do that. What do I possibly gain by speaking about someone else behind his/her back? 

It's a hard lesson and gossiping is so easy to do. What can be innocent and seemingly harmless (sharing a funny/sad/moving story about someone) can quickly turn into gossiping. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online defines "Gossip" as: " (n) Information about the behavior and personal lives of other people."

So, while I might like to candy-coat it by saying I'm merely sharing something because I'm "worried" or because I'm asking for "prayer," the truth is that talking about someone else's life is gossip. 

If I'm really that worried, I can take it  to the One who knows the details without me having to broadcast them to everyone. 

Also, bringing a third party into the conversation is bad on so many fronts. For one, it is shining a light on someone else's flaws. What I share about Person A may change Person B's opinion of Person A. Do I really want to be the cause of conflict--especially if I am already in the middle of a conflict with Person A?

Nope.

Second, my perspective is probably (most likely) skewed about the situation. What I believe to be truth may well just be my take on the situation. There may be far more (and usually is) to the story than just the piece of the puzzle I hold. Sharing my one piece of a 5,000 piece jig saw puzzle is unfair to whomever I am sharing with. It leaves Person B lacking and unable to see the Big Picture.

Guarding our tongue is tough. 

Knowing the difference between a genuine concern/prayer request can be tricky.

Words said can never be unsaid. 

Let's use our words to build each other up rather than tear each other down. 

Let's not air others' laundry simply because we feel like it.
If you cannot see the video in your email, click HERE.

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