welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

pssssttt, did you hear?

I've been told since I was about two years old that I had the "gift of gab".....in other words, I talk and talk and talk. (I guess the same applies when I write, huh?)

In my defense.......I just am a people person. As much as I enjoy my quiet time and I like living in the boonies......I do need social interaction to keep things healthy and balanced. I talk daily to my best friend.....if 2-3 days go by without hearing from her, I tend to get a little concerned and start leaving desperate messages on her machine making sure everything is all right in her world or ask in a paranoid way if I said anything that offended her.

I like to host parties and cookouts. And I am not one of those people who are so busy during the festivities scrambling to make sure there is enough salsa for the chips, ice and cups for the beverages or extra chairs for guests. I do my best to get everything as prepared as possible and have a great group of friends who are always helping me with that kind of stuff. That is why they are always on the top of the guest list. *kidding! I am just being honest that when I invite family and friends over to my home for a party, it is because I want to spend time with them and enjoy their company. I am hoping the feeling is mutual and that they are not wanting me to dote on them (although I do have a few on that list.....don't we all? Like that one very able bodied aunt who sees you putting out all the food, lugging bags of ice, peeling a child off your thigh and swatting a cat off the table. She just stands there and announces that she brought her famous potato casserole with raisins and broccoli. I think I am expected to drop whatever four or five things that I am doing and sprinkle rose petals at her feet all while making an announcement to the entire party that she has arrived. *sorry if that was a little sarcastic* yes Auntie Mary, we love you and your potato salad, even though no-one ever eats it. )

I am on a few online message boards where I have made some great friendships. And I have even met some of them and believe it or not, they did not turn out to be axe murderers like Josh warned me.

I pop on Facebook to see what people are up to although I do get annoyed with people sending me flip-flops and cocktails after a while. FYI, I have ugly bunions so I can't do things between my toes and I gave up drinking almost three years ago. And call me insensitive, but learning that Joe Knight* is going to McDonalds or Jane Shooley* is drinking a smoothie isn't really something that I need to know.
(*not actual Facebookers to my knowledge)

I probably just got "de-friended" by announcing those annoyances, didn't I?

So it's safe to say that I do like people and socializing....but what I am discovering is that the more I get involved with "groups"......whether online, in real life or even all the people in my head....there seems to always be some kind of gossip going on in some level. And as I am growing deeper in my walk with Christ, it is starting to make me more and more uncomfortable.

Gossip. Other wise known as back-fence talk, chitchat, defamation, grapevine, hearsay, idle talk, malicious talk, meddling, scandal, small talk, whispering campaign or dirty laundry. If you are in or around my age.....you must remember Don Henley's hit Dirty Laundry. He sings about how people love hearing about other's troubles or hard times.

"
Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pie
Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry"

Gossipers have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad. Having knowledge of someone's private trials has a way of exalting themselves. Gossip can be truth or falsehood, but it is still gossip. Gossip is any communication that hurts people.

Back in the day, I gossiped without even realizing it was gossip. "The Day" refers to before I turned my life over to God, just a little heads' up for ya. Now I wasn't some monger who went around purposely slandering people.....but I thought nothing about repeating someone's personal information or what I heard through the grapevine, which of course got twisted up like that kid's telephone game. Regardless of what "level" it was.....it was hurtful and wrong.

I recently have been getting more involved with new people now that we are into homeschooling, 4-H, and country fairs. Not sure if it is the old small town everyone-knows-everyone-and-their-business way......but occasionally there is a gossip tag attached to some of these interactions.

I will admit that I still sometimes get sucked into those conversations that have those strong gossiping undertones. But now that I am digging deeper with Christ and my eyes and heart are open to what is right and wrong, I am becoming more aware and trying to make a conscious effort to change the direction of these conversations. If that doesn't work I might take the easy road and create a crisis that I must abruptly tend to.....or I might take a higher more difficult road and say that I really don't feel comfortable talking about said person/situation.

Maybe this causes noses to be turned up to me or I'll be the center of the next gossip session.....but at least they will know that they where I stand (and hopefully WHO I stand for). Maybe it will cause them to stop and realize that they are revealing information to those who have no business knowing it or care to know it.

So after another situation last night where I was getting sucked into the tornado of gossip.....I felt very conflicted on the drive home. Before I fell asleep I knew I needed to pray about it. I asked God for forgiveness with genuine repentance. I asked Him to guard my mouth and help me think before I speak.

I need to do my part in this situation as well. I need to make the decision to keep my relationship with these people in an acquaintance level and keep all conversations simple and on the subject on hand. Proverbs 20:19 reminds us " A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much."

Whenever the temptation of this destructive habit arises.....I need to focus on

Scripture is very clear about how much God hates gossip. He hates to see His children hurting one another. The Bible talks about Satan being the source of gossip and a lying slanderer in John 8:44 ".......When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies." Satan's language is to divide, destroy, deceive and discourage.

Whenever the temptation of this destructive habit arises.....I need to focus on the source and bite my tongue. When I am on the receiving end of gossip, I need to not listen. I have to hold myself accountable and know that it takes to gossip, one to talk and one to listen.

I see how serious the sin of gossip is and that it characterizes those who are under God’s wrath. in Romans 1:29 "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips."

EEK, check this out.....gossip makes 3 of God's Top 7 detestable things in Proverbs 6:17-19

16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


OK, so I don't think I need to copy/paste any more Scripture that shows how gossip goes against everything that is God....but know there are many. And I don't want to be part of it any more.

Today, I want to only use my tongue to bring life.....not death.

How about you? How do you deal with gossip? Come'on....you can be honest. I promise it will be safe with me. *wink


I'll leave you with this quote from an unknown author.....

~Blessed are the hard of hearing for that shall miss much idle gossip~



Peace~
*~Michelle~*

21 comments:

christy rose said...

Oh my Goodness! I laughed and laughed through this. You did good though. You really got your point across. GOSSIP IS BAD! GOD DOES NOT LIKE IT! :) It is hard sometimes to get out of the way of it like you said, we are social people. I have come to hate it so much that it is easy for me to slip away from conversation going that direction. Children are good excuses! "I'll be right back, I need to check on ..." or having to pee! That is a good one! I can always pee! Anyway, I loved this.
I love having people over too and I do not like to fuss over every little thing when people are at my house. I want to visit too. At my house, you learn to make yourself at home. At home, you should be taking care of yourself. :) HAHA
OK I rambled enough now too!
((smiles))
Christy

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,

Like you, I reached a point where I felt some of my friendships had to be severed, because they placed me in situations where I felt tempted to do the wrong thing, speak about things and people I did not know and ultimately gossip and damage someone's reputation and worse than that.

It is the hardest thing to do because it is often the most appealing friendships, the popular people, the funny ones, the ones that draw the crowds, those are the ones who become the biggest trap the enemy uses for his evil purposes.

Unlike you, I am a fairly quiet kind of person and I have very few but very good friends. I do not like entertaining because the stress of it gets to me and I love my own space and my own company. However, sometimes I do crave a sense of belonging with the in crowd, which is an illusion really, because that in-crowd is often popular for all the wrong reasons, and I seek after furthering a friendship which I know deep down will not add up anything to my life but take away from it, take me back in my faith journey one step or two.

As I grow older and wiser I recognise a wrong friendship or acquaintance sooner and sooner.

One good tip would be that if you ever hang out with people who gossip about others, chances are they will gossip about you too the moment you leave their presence.

Thanks for allowing me to comment on your site.

ransom33

cindyhan111 said...

gossip is a tough one, not always easy to walk away... but ditching it is worth the effort

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I always love your posts! you have a great way of putting things~

Mich said...

I enjoyed this post.

It hits home, though. My work place tends to be gossip central these days. I often go home with a heavy heart from just listening.

Chick Hatchers said...

You have been very candid and your words are eye-opening to me. Not that I haven't heard and read those verses before, but it's a good reminder and I'm sure I've been much too talkative lately, myself. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself and promoting God's Word at the same time.

I just "happened" to blog-hop over here and I can't believe it was coincidence. I pray for God to bless you abundantly for stepping up and out like this. 2 Timothy 1 talks about just that.

mychildsview.blogspot.com

Alicia said...

Amen!!

I used to be that way before I was saved. I was soooo into gossip!!

I have to admit..it is hard to not get caught up in it (even w/ other Christians), BUT we either have to speak up, or walk away.

I've learned that we can also be involved in gossip by our facial expressions! Scary! I don't even have to say a word???

I always think of Proverbs 10:19...

In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking. But he who restrains his lips is wise.

OHH..and I had to LOL at your FB references!! Haha..so true!!

mimi said...

Great post!! I was laughing at what you said about facebook(flipflops,cocktails). I'm not on, but my husband is. When I saw the mafia wars etc I said "you have got to be kidding me! And these are adults??". You are so right about the gossip and how it happens in all circles. I've been shocked at how even the homeschool circle feels like highschool sometimes ;) It's very nice to meet you!

Kim said...

You are really making me think and look inward.

I love to talk. I love to know about people. I love to find out about people.

If someone tells me about someone else (good or bad), I try to file that back in the roladex in my mind and when I encounter that person myself, weigh this infomation against it.

But now you have made me wonder if this in itself is wrong.

I, too, don't want to hurt people, but I will be the first to admit, that if passing on information about another is gossip......I am definately to blame.

I don't go around airing dirty laundry, although sometimes, I am sure that in the course of conversation, I inadvertantly do.

Maybe I should just have my mouth wired shut.

~*Michelle*~ said...

@ Kim,

It is very difficult to discern sharing information from gossip, isn't it?

@ Alicia

I love how you worded this:

"speak up or walk away"

straight at you, love it!

@ Chick Hatchers (who I just love your name, btw....if you read more of my blog, you'll see we are really into chickens!)

God has a great way of navigating through the internet, doesn't He?

and happy to know that I am not the only one who struggles with this issue and also my opinions on FB! LOL

Beth in NC said...

Oh girl! You're right. You and I are on the same track! I have a couple of people in my life that are always picking me for information because I offer them NOTHING. I feel "raped" and "defiled" by the time they leave. Shower time!!!!

I'm with you. God help me keep my mouth SHUT. I hold my tongue until the people get on my last nerve then I say something -- always regretting opening my big mouth! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Love,
b

Andrea said...

Great post. Thank you for stopping by arise 2 write. I am blessed that you found comfort in the verse for today.
I will be praying for you, sweet one. Remember, GOD's timing is always perfect.
Andrea

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

This is so true in both worlds, Christian and Non alike! I just heard my daughter tell us that she is being put in the middle of a break up and wants nothing to do with it.

Yet last night I witnessed her talking about the very same two people to other girlfriends of hers. We chatted afterwards about her ability to share personal information she shouldn't have. I think she got the point.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

By the way, thanks for stopping by frequently and leaving me some great comments and encouragement!

Jody said...

If someone asks me to join their "Mafia" on Facebook again, I am going to "wack" them, in real life, LOL.

I struggle with gossip on a daily basis. The funny thing is I try to justify it and then like Paul, I do that which I don't want to do.

Angela said...

I have struggled with this...before Christ (was a HUGE partaker,,quite a pro at it actually..blush blush)..and EVEN after I surrendered my life to the Lord (just disguised it as something else)...These last 10 and a half months going through the greatest storms my family and I have ever experienced, but also being brought deeper into a more intimate relationship with God our Father, I do NOT want gossip, don't want to partake in it, be a part of it, and it grieves my spirit greatly...I've been praying to the Lord on how to deal with these situations (since we WILL come face to face with it from time to time)...God is good and funny at times..when gossip has come my way,,and I'm on the phone,,all of the sudden the phone starts to get all static..I'm serious...LOL..Thank You sweet Jesus!! "Oh, I'm sorry I have to go, the phone is really weird"..

Thanks for sharing such a powerful devotional and sharpening us,,Proverbs 27:17

Kendra Lee said...

From another social butterfly - I feel ya' on this! I'm a people person... love to chat etc. and it's amazing how quickly a conversation can make that turn, albeit subtly, into gossip! Praise God for the uncomfortableness of it!!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I love it when anyone stops by and comments. It's encouraging.

You do a great job here. Thanks for the fun and praisin!

momstheword said...

I have a friend that admits she has a problem with gossip and sometimes forgets unless someone gently reminds her of it.

I don't see anything wrong with giving a gentle reminder or discouraging it by changing the subject.

All gossip does is tear down, it doesn't build.

When people come to our house for a visit I tell them "The first time, I will treat you as a guest. The second time you are on your own." Meaning, you know where the kitchen is, you want a pop, go get it, you don't have to ask...lol!

I do not do the applications on facebook. Like you I have limited time and I'd rather spend it reading or commenting than sending flowers and things!

Sarah Salter said...

Wise words that you've shared here! I grew up in churches that were hotbeds for gossip. I thought that all churches and all church people were gossipmongers. But then, God sent me to the church I'm at now. And praise the Lord! I've found a church where the people love each other enough NOT to gossip about them! What a healing experience! To know that the only time people are going to talk about you is to say GOOD things!

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! It's nice to "meet" you! Feel free to stop by anytime... And please know that I'll be dropping in soon for another breath of fresh air!

Karen said...

Thanks a lot for the scolding!

*hangs head in shame*

You are absolutely right, of course, but it's so hard not to get sucked in sometimes. For me it's not really about feeling better about myself. I just like to know that other people have problems just like I do. Doesn't make it right, though.

Martha said...

Yay, I'm hard-of-hearing and blessed! Loving it :P

Okay okay, even though I have severe hearing loss... I've been known to talk a little bit too much. They used to call me the "motor mouth" when I was a little kid :o) Even to this day, I cringe during my idle talk and ask myself, "did I really say that?" I realized that I was not cautious in friendship, I surrounded myself with individuals who enjoyed sipping on coffee and gossiping about those "who dared to defy them" :P

This saying provided correct: "Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you"

I became a target of their gossip, d'oh! I had to force myself to bid farewell to the people who gossiped, spread slander, and caused divisiveness. Guess what? After a couple of days of "weaning" myself off them, my desire to talk about other people disappeared in thin air!

Of course we'll always be tempted to spill the beans but if we're cautious in friendship, the wicked won't lead us astray and we'll overcome the temptations a whole lot easier.

Love this post! P.S. Don't worry, I never talked about your crooked toes :D that would be like the pot calling the kettle black!

 

Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates