Written by: Megan Kincheloe
A few weeks ago I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to write a post on gossip. I struggled with this a little as I do not generally consider gossip to be an issue for me. I decided to be obedient and sat down to write the post and when I thought I was done, I hit ‘submit.’ Before I even stepped away from my computer, God whispered to me, “You aren’t finished yet. There is much more to be said regarding this struggle.” This was a really hard reality for me! I am going to be honest here. At this point, I became frustrated and began to debate with God. I found myself saying, “Seriously? There are plenty of things I struggle with, but gossip?? Let someone else talk about this topic.” Only then, over the next several minutes, He began to flood my Spirit with more. So here we go. Gossip…take 2!
As I was negotiating with God and as He continued to tap-dance on my toes, I started to think about myself and about relationships. I love people and consider myself to be an awesome confidant. When people come to me with something, they generally do not even have to request, “Please do not share this with anyone.” That is something that is already understood between the two of us. What God showed me in this moment though is that sometimes even the best intended conversations can be gossip. One example is when a prayer request is being shared. Have you ever been guilty of this? I can think of a time or two when I have said, “I don’t think she would mind me sharing, she could use the extra prayers.”
Friends, please do not make these big decisions based on the assumption, “I DON’T THINK.” Make sure you know. This becomes as simple as reaching out to the person via phone call or text and saying, “I want others to be praying for you. Do you mind if I share your situation with them?” Then you can base your decision on what you ‘know’ to be true instead of what you ‘think.’
One of my mottos in life has become, “Examine your motive.” I was thinking about that in relation to gossip and decided that in this case, determining your motive is not always going to be helpful. Certainly it is important to consider, however; your motives can be absolutely pure and your intentions genuine, but the information still may not be yours to share.
Sweet gals, let’s turn to some wisdom from the Gospel as our guide on the subject.
Proverbs 16:28 says, “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”
Proverbs 11:13 says, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.”
Proverbs 20:19 says, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.”
Lastly, I want to caution you gals against something. There are times when I am guilty of hearing gossip and taking it as Gospel. Friends, confront the source before letting your mind go to the worst. There is grave danger in letting something take root in your heart that has a huge potential of having been misconstrued, misinterpreted, or misrepresented. Take time to learn the hard facts to give yourself time to respond in the Spirit rather than allowing yourself to react in the flesh.