Monday, August 1, 2011

Heart to Heart: Gossip

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29

Gossip is bred out of boredom. Gossip is a sign that we are not really active in our faith and in our lives. If you think about it, the busier we are, the less time we have to gossip. We no longer have the time to get completely wrapped up in someone else’s life.

Gossip is one of the most dangerous evils because it is so subtle and ambiguous -- many are unable to recognize it. Be on alert against gossip whenever you hear of “secret information” being circulated, or if you hear anyone else’s name is specifically used in a conversation. Gossip exists whenever someone talks about others in less than a favorable way. The root of gossip is negativeness, judgementalism, slander, etc.

If you find yourself falling into gossip – stop. If you don’t pass on the gossip there is nowhere for it to go. This includes gossip magazines and gossip television. While it may seem "harmless" to read those magazines or watch those shows, you are contributing to gossip and you are feeding your unhealthy desire for it.

If you want to avoid gossip, focus on creating helpful and encouraging statements instead of destructive and damaging statements. NO PIECE OF GOSSIP IS WORTH THE DESTRUCTION IT CAUSES. Gossip is essentially verbal cancer. Destroying its victims by devouring them from the inside. Our fellow females need our love, forgiveness and encouragement, they don't need to be ravaged and consumed by our evil talk. Let the gossip spoken to you end with you and don't pass on the poison.

Also, when you are faced with a statement that may or may not be gossip, check out the facts. For instance, if you hear someone has an eating disorder or is abusing drugs, go to the person. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the person yourself, and the rumor is something serious, you may want to go to a parent, pastor, or youth leader. Getting someone to help in a serious situation is not gossip as long as the information stays with you and the person you go to for help. Determine your intent before involving someone else. Is it sincere concern or gossip in disguise? 

What are you doing with your words? Are you using your words to lift people up by sharing words of encouragement and kindness OR to bring people down by spreading lies and rumors?
Don't be a part of the poison. When you are faced with gossip remember the Golden Rule – if you don’t want people to gossip about you, then don’t participate in gossip.
Heavenly Father, help me to use my words to help others, not to harm them. Help me to be more aware of what comes out of my mouth and protect me from the temptation to participate in gossip. Thank you for your guidance and grace. In Jesus name, Amen.

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