Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Garden of Friendship - Gossip

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I think that as women, one of our biggest sins is misuse of our mouths. Whether you are by nature talkative or quiet, you may deal with the temptation to gossip with your friends and aquaintances. So many times I recall a conversation I had and wonder, "was that gossip?"
Will you join me in reflecting on a few points that may help us with this tendency? I need this too!
1. Gossip may often be disguised as, "we need to pray for ..." Using the need for prayer as a reason to talk about someone else's personal business is not okay. I know I have done this, and I am heartily ashamed. There are times when it is legitimate to bring up a situation as a prayer request. Pray that God will give you wisdom in this matter.
2. Be a secret keeper. It is sooooo easy to "let it slip." When friends tell you something in confidence, carefully guard their information. I would like to add that it is okay to let a secret out is when someone tells you something that could seriously harm them. We shouldn't glibly promise to keep a secret when we know we can't. In that situation, it is proper to inform the person that if they do not share their information with someone they trust, you may have to. "A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter." Prov 11:13
3. Gossip is sinful. This sin is not to be taken lightly. Our speech is to be always with grace, seasoned with salt. (Col 4:6) Is what we are saying helpful and edifying? Does it lift another up or tear down?
4. Be humble. Don't be afraid to go back after having an unwise conversation and apologize to the friend you had it with. This is pleasing to God, and it may help your friends to think twice before giving in to gossip. "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body." Prov 26:22
Any other thoughts on this subject? I could go on and on, but time doesn't permit. How do you avoid gossip?


Ella said...

I have struggled with this in the past. I just try to remember that I would want my friends to respect my privacy. That said, I do say things to Mom, and I know she will remain quiet.

However, I find #1 a very easy way that gossipping comes. Mom disliked the prayer chain for that reason. I can see what she means. Sometimes, not everyone needs to know a piece of information.

Only God can help us guard our mouths...though it is hard to always remember to think before we speak!~

Bethany said...

A very good reminder thank you! I haven't really thought about how to avoid gossip this will help though! Thank you again!

Ropheka said...

Nice Blog :)

Laura said...

good reminders!

Ella said...

Mrs. Beverly, I haven't seen you in the blog realm much, which is understandable, Just want you to know that I was thinking of you.And I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Ella said...

I am Ella's mom, and occasionally I try to read some of the blogs that she reads. I wanted to make a comment on this post, because it is something that is often on my heart.

One of the things young women are encouraged to do in 1 Timothy 5 is to marry again, have children, and guide their homes. This is because the women had so much idle time on their hands that they were becoming know, nosing into others' business and then visiting another house and sharing that info. with someone else.

In my own life, I have struggled greatly with being a busybody. Like those women in 1 Timothy, I often went "house to house, saying things I shouldn't." I have learned that spending the bulk of my time in my home where I can care for it as God said I should, keeps me in a safe place. I simply am not out visiting around, getting into other peoples' business, and then saying things I ought not. I believe that God was very wise (as he always is!) in instructing women to be busy about their homes. If we are about the business he has told us to be about, we are much less likely to sin with our mouths!!

Patti (Ellas's mom)

Beverly said...

Patti, thank you so much for sharing these words of wisdom. It is excellent advice, and I will keep it in my heart as well.