Ephesians 4:29 – 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.
Gossip is such an easy thing to get tangled in, even as a Christian. Let me be the first to tell you it’s a battle I fight everyday. When does asking out of concern cross the line into full blown gossip? When I begin to get satisfaction out of what I am hearing and what I am saying knowing full well that I wouldn’t say it to the other person’s face. It is when I begin to go on a fishing trip to get more. Gossiping is spreading seeds of discontent. My favorite excuse is this, “It’s not gossiping when I am talking about myself!” HA! When I use that excuse I am basically saying that the person listening to my rant is in perfect peace and isn’t listening to a word I say because of the joy in their heart. I have NO IDEA that what I am saying is opening the door for more lies to sink in to that person and it may in turn cause them to jump ship and get on their own self-pity train that has on it fear, doubt, uncertainty, and dislike. The Bible says we reap what we sow, so if I am planting seeds of negativity in pockets of dry dirt, then I must be willing to reap dirty, dry, wilted weeds of negativity in my life. It’s a simple equation. If I speak positively about someone to another person in love and kindness, I will reap the beautiful fruit of righteousness and love and peace. It’s so simple, so why is it so hard?
Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Why is it that anger, fear, hurt, jealousy, and flat out disgust get me right back to the gossip circle? ESPECIALLY when I know how bad it hurts to be the one being gossiped about? The GREAT news is that I have stepped away from the circle for a while. The bad news is that it calls me in nearly everyday because I am listening to the whispers in my ears from the enemy saying that it is the ONLY way to make it and to be happy where I am. It is the only way to get along with everyone and get the respect of everyone. That’s a LIE. Here is what I am forced to remember. I CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE. I can’t bow down to disgracing others and building myself up at their expense. It is so hard to see others be so unkind when they don’t have a clue where I have come from and what I am fighting against. It is so hard to listen to the words and see the looks that I am getting when I know my heart and God knows my heart. It is so hard to stand alone.
Psalm 27:11-12 – Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
Susan Brogan said it best, “Though none go with me, I am going that way!” That sums it up. I am never alone. Jesus is only a BREATH away. I have an army of angels standing guard and I will not be shaken. God is on the move and I am blessed and highly favored. However, it’s still my choice whether or not to fall into the trap of peer pressure and start talking. I can do what others do and get what others get, or I can do what God asks me to do and I can stand my ground against the enemy, however hard that may be.