Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm a Gossip.

I've been reading through Proverbs. (Not to sound all self-religious.... I'm on chapter 17, and I've been reading them for probably 3 months, if that tells you how sporadic I am.)
One thing that jumps out at me in every chapter are the verses about gossip, and "the words of a fool." I know God is convicting me. And I don't know how to deal with it.
How do you respond when someone says, "Well, you need to be praying for so-and-so." Then proceeds to tell you about a co-worker whose husband has left her, but she probably deserved it, because she was having an emotional affair, and the prayer-request-sharer knows about it because of this, that, and the other. I mean, what do you do? Say, "No, I don't want to hear about it"? Say, "I'll pray, but you're gossiping"?
Don't get me wrong. I love the juicy details. I know I shouldn't, but don't we all feel just a little bit better on the inside when we hear how someone else has screwed up? Like we're just a little better than them?
So I'm convicted. I just don't know what to do about it. I guess that despite what comes into my ears, I can control what I pass on.
And I will say.... I don't believe talking about things with your husband is gossip. If someone tells me something that starts with, "Don't tell anyone, but...." I do interrupt and say, "I tell my husband everything." But I guess even within your own home, it can become malicious, and that is wrong however you look at it.


Rachel said...

And may I just say that Facebook encourages me to gossip when people put all their business out there for everyone to see.

Doug or Janice Rhodes said...

I had a friend years ago that loved to gossip. Although it was a huge challenge sometimes, I committed myself to say something positive about the person she referred to every time(DAILY!!). She eventually got the point. At other times I simply (hopefully gently) say if I am not part of the problem I am not likely to be part of the solution...but I will pray for healing in that person's life. And sometimes, the right response is "I am sorry but I cannot listen to details. I believe that it would be gossip. Just knowing there is a problem gives me reason to pray."
This is an area that takes brutal action to rip it out of our systems. If God is convicting He will not let you go until you deal with it. And I agree FACEBOOK is a big problem. I seldom visit any more and even more seldom post.
Mom R