Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you want junk like that in your belly? – Proverbs 26:22
I ran into some gossip the other day. You know, it can be a fine line crossing from conversation and concern into gossip.
That’s the milder form of gossip. When I encountered it I responded, “you know, I don’t think that’s true. I’ve heard a different side of things.”
My friend hadn’t wanted to believe the gossip in the first place so was happy to hear what I said. But, in the process, gossip was spoken and responded to. And I was part of it. Oh dear.
We have to be really careful with our words.
Truthfully, should we ever really say anything about anybody that we wouldn’t say to their face? Seems like it’s pretty obvious we shouldn’t, but in trusted relationships we try and process things we are going through and we don’t really live by this rule. We often discuss issues we have with other people in our lives with a friend – or friends.
I can’t help but think God must understand when we are not trying to be malicious, although it would be better to take our concerns to Him directly. Because, regardless of our motives, things can get misconstrued. Even if someone has convinced themselves that they are telling the truth as they relate something from their own perspective, there is a problem right there. Because we really only have our own perspectives, don’t we? Do we ever know the whole story? We don’t know other people’s stories, motives. Sometimes we don’t even have a good handle on our own stories, our own motives. Only God knows the whole story. The true story.
My friend who spoke the gossip was repeating something she had heard, thinking it was truth. But someone spread that story in the first place knowing exactly what they were doing. And that is the nasty side of gossip. That is someone trying to hurt someone else. That is something I don’t understand. That enters the realm of hurt people hurting people. And I don’t really think you can stop it because it’s too prevalent in our society. You just have to rise above it. Don’t repeat it. If you can help it, don’t even take it in. If you are strong, you can even tell the person spewing it that you don’t believe it and want them to stop talking to you about it. Dear God, help us all to be that strong!
In my own life, I have witnessed so much misunderstanding and hurt by people who tell untruths about other people. You can call that gossip. You can call it lies. Whatever you call it, it has devastating effects.
And I don’t want to hear it.