“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23
Gossip. We know it is bad, but we do it anyway. Each time we tell the story to someone different, it changes. It becomes the game “telephone” in real life. Unfortunately, someone or many are hurt in the process by lies and rumors.
Many years ago, I began a job a few months after graduating from college. I worked in an office that had seventy plus employees. Right before I started at my new job, my father gave me wise advice. He said, “stay away from gossip.” My father worked in a similar place, where there were a lot of employees. He told me, you can say one thing to someone on one end of the office and run as fast as you could to the other side of the building and that piece of gossip is already there. I wish I listened to my father. Sadly, one has to learn the hard way.
My daughter has had a tumultuous “friendship” with a classmate. One day my daughter mentioned to her other friend when we were in the car about how upset this other student has made her. I chimed in, saying it has been rough for my daughter and sadly nothing has changed. We stated facts, not gossip. Unfortunately, the friend in the car, told this student we were speaking badly about her and her family. None of that was true. Then the student in question started bad-mouthing my daughter and blocked her from her phone, all because of gossip. Read the room (or car). If people you speak to like to gossip, be careful what you say around them.
Another time, I was the subject of gossip. After I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were excited to tell people. We told family members first. As I started to dial my sister in law, I received a phone call from her. She stated how happy she was for us. My husband and I told the news of my pregnancy, for the first time only 10 minutes beforehand. I understand people were excited. However, telling that news for my husband and me to tell. The plan was to only have one child. And now, we didn’t have the opportunity to say it ourselves. As excited one is to share the good news, always ask the person if you can share it. If they say no, be that friend who is trustworthy.
Imagine a world without gossip. There would be no celebrity garbage news. People could ask directly to the source and get the right answer. Non-existent details would not come out. People would not get hurt. Painful secrets, would not have to be news for others to dish out.
Gossip hurts. Gossip can be deadly. It is like a drug, don’t be the dealer or a user.
Lesson Learned: Be a trustworthy friend and do not be the dealer of gossip.
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for gossip. Holy Spirit give me discernment when to share information. Convict me when I want to talk about someone to others. May my words be encouraging and uplifting. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”