Our Sunday School teachers would always let everyone have a turn telling their prayer requests. Some kids would timidly say “nothing” or “unspoken”. Others would list their prayer requests like bullet points. At least once every Sunday, there would be that person who had to share the details. It would go something like this:
“Alice, you know the girl you all go to school with? Alice got in trouble at school for skipping class, but I heard that she really skipped to make out with her boyfriend. You know her boyfriend? Bobby? She’s always getting into trouble. I heard it’s because her mom is an alcoholic and her dad didn’t want her and I think she probably smokes pot too. You know Alice? She’s a friend with Chelsea and Diane? Yeah, that’s the girl! Well, she needs Jesus, and so do her friends and so does her boyfriend.”
Occasionally, these prayer request issues would lead to a temporary challenge to cut the gossip.
For maybe two weeks.
I’ve heard it said that gossiping is a woman thing.
I honestly am not sure, my husband doesn’t really gossip.
Certain other members who shall only be identified as “males”, on the other hand, are guilty of gossip.
I think I’ve always gossiped. I don’t know that it’s part of that messy “inherently sinful” part of my being, or if it is more related to the fact that I am a storyteller. I’m guilty of flubbing details in real life both on accident and on purpose because I wanted to have something to say, have some attention, or just flat out wanted to wow the people around me.
For a long time now, this topic has been clawing at my heart.
Today I read a devotional on being a good friend and just broke down.
How sad is it that the times I spend with people I love, I find myself tearing down others?
How can you be a good friend when all that seeps from your mouth is venom?
What kind of things do you want to be showing your friend? That you speak ill of all the people around them (and possibly themselves behind their back) or that you are consistently building up the people you love?
I’d never really thought of it in that light until recently dealing with a friend. A friend that I only loosely consider a friend because how can a friend build you up in one breathe and cut you down in the next? I had never knowingly experienced it until recently.
Do you ever find yourself gossiping and tearing down those who you claim to love?
Redemption is hardly impossible though, and so today I make a commitment to choose my words wisely. I commit to consider what I say as something to severe ties or to strengthen the knot of friendship.