Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Friday: Gossip

For this weeks Fun Friday, I get to talk about gossip. I think this is something that almost every single person has dealt with. I would be willing to bet that everyone at some point in their life has been a victim of gossip as well as spread it themselves. Most people think of gossip as telling something about another person that's not true. It's like, as long as you know what you're talking about is true, it's not gossip and it's ok to share it right? Not exactly.

The definition of the word gossip is, "Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. Trivial, chatty talk or writing. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts."

I will admit that gossip is something I struggle with. For some reason it can almost feel good to know that you have the latest and juiciest gossip about whatever situation is going on around you. When gossip begins, whatever is being shared can very quickly change. It may start out true but it doesn't take long at all to get twisted, added to and embellished. After all, each person sharing the gossip wants to be able to tell the newest and juiciest part of the story. But what about the other end of it? What about when you are the one being gossiped about? That can be one of the worst feelings and it tears people down so quickly.

Let's look at what the bible says about this subject. Ephesians 4:29-32 in the amplified version says,
29Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him],
by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
31Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
32And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

The bible says to let no foul language or evil words come out of your mouth, but it goes on to say also let no worthless talk come out of your mouth! This kind of talk grieves God's heart.

Have you ever just said worthless things about someone? Say you see someone in clothes that you thought were ugly, and you shared those thoughts with a friend. Or a parent walks by with their kids and you comment on how horrible those kids are after they've walked by. Or you see another couple and comment on how bad their marriage seems to be and how it wouldn't surprise you at all if they end up divorced. Everyone of these falls under "worthless talk" and it grieves the very heart of God.

I think church's are often breading grounds for gossip. See, we can talk about and tell people pretty much anything as long as it's followed by a promise to pray for whomever you're talking about. But the bible is very blunt about this type of person. James 1:26 says,
26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).

As Christians, we have a huge responsibility to hold, or bridle as the bible says, our tongues. By not doing that you make all your other service, and everything else you do for Christ completely worthless. The words we speak to and about others can completely destroy our testimony and credibility. Also, when you speak like this you are completely fooling yourself about your christian walk. You can not follow Christ and lead people to Him if you are a gossip and have no control over your own tongue.

Take some time and examine your heart. Ask God to show you if you've been guilty of gossip and worthless talk, and if so, work on becoming useful, kind and tenderhearted with your words towards those around you. And in the future, try to not even put yourself in a position to hear or share gossip. Anytime you feel the desire to gossip or spread any kind of worthless talk, just ask God to hold your tongue.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.


Leslie said...

I'm convicted!!!

Jamie said...

I was too as I wrote it! It's so easy to fall into it and make a habit out of it. :o)

Kelly Howard said...

Bridling our tongues is a VERY important thing to do. And a very hard thing. We tend to think it is acceptable to rant and vent in our own homes, but it is NOT! We should save our ranting and venting and criticisms for our prayer closets! Another excellent post and very similar to the ones I've been posting...kindred spirits!

Holly said...

Great post Jamie! It's definitely something everyone struggles with...including me, myself and I! Thanks for the encouragement!

Jamie said...

Thank you both! As soon as I got this suggestion I got convicted because it's something I really struggle with. It felt like I was writing this to myself and I kept being reminded of all the times i've done exactly what I wrote about. Thank goodness for new mercies every morning!!

And Kelly, I believe we are kindred spirits indeed! :o)