I've never been so hurt as when I found out that all of my friends knew a secret about another friend of ours and didn't inlcude me. Even my husband knew. And no one told me. Of course they all said, "I was told not to tell anyone!" What they might as well have said was, "You can't keep your mouth shut, that's why we couldn't tell you!" Ouch!
I struggle with gossip. The Bible tells us that gossip is of the devil. In Titus gossipers are called accusers, the same name given Satan 34 times in the Bible. Who wants to be compared to Satan? Gossip is compared to an uncontrollable fire. Adding to something someone has told you or simply repeating it yourself is like stoking the fire. And OH how it hurts when you get burnt by that fire! I've been on the receiving end of gossip and you would think it would have taught me a lesson. But apparently it hasn't.
So why do we do it? Personally, I really think it's to fit in. I've always longed to fit in with everyone. I want people to like me. I want to be included in whatever's going on. And gossip gets you in. If you know something others don't know, you're in. Because whether they really want to or not, some part of them wants to know. Whether they care or not, it's intriguing. But it's wrong. Sin is sin. I believe that no sin is any different. Not one carries more weight than the other. So gossip is just as bad as murder...wow. It is similar in many ways that's for sure. Like I said, I've been at the other end and it's painful. Like what I imagined being stabbed to feel like. Breathtaking and aching. Making you scared and timid around people.
So how can I stop? The Bible tells us that we should build each other up (edify). I can't do that if I'm gossiping about them. Because gossip only tears people down. And how can I be a witness to others, live like Jesus, if I'm tearing people down?
My goal, to stop gossiping. When I hear something, juicy or mundane, I'm going to reach for God's word and silently chant Ephesians 4:29 in my head. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." I know I'll still mess up, but I pray that they Lord would make me aware of these mistakes and help me learn and grow from them.
Here's to a wonderful, edifying-others Monday!