Don’t you just love to hear something interesting? If you’re like me, you have that one TV show that is a tad bit dramatic or to say the least …intriguing. Mine is Married at First Sight. It’s a bit crazy, right? You meet your hand-picked husband (just for you) at the alter. Sometimes our flair for the dramatic can lead outside the scope of TV and into our personal lives. That is when it becomes gossip and can be hurtful to others. You have probably heard the saying “Mind your own biscuits, and your Life will be Gravy”. That has a lot of truth to it, and biblical backing to stop any mudslinging, hearsay or malicious talk. This even means airing out others dirty laundry through the prayer chain.
Even if we’re not talking malicious of another person, but we’re sharing news or tidbits that is not yours to share, that is still gossip. Growing up in a town of 700 everybody knew everybody. We lived in a fishbowl and the back-fence talk was probably the fasting growing grapevine in town. When I owned the Hair Salon in this small town, well, you can just imagine. I had a talk with every new girl and enforced my beliefs of how to handle the tittle-tattle. Every stylist was told they were not allowed to mention a name, even if their best client was going to Hawaii. The minute you mention a name, it will run thru the country roads, and if mud sticks to it, its coming back to YOU. No matter how many turns that story took along the way.
We’re human, we need the confidence of a friend to confide in. The Bible states that two are better than one. Christian companionship. You’ve heard the verse Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Proverbs 17:19 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
This past year has been difficult on everyone to different degrees. I notice it in customer service. We’re expecting the worse, without first testing the water. During this stretch we need to lift others up. Be patient. Give encouragement. Reinforce that this is a season and it too shall pass.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Romans 15:5 "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had."
Romans 15:2 "Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up."
Encouragement is something we all need. We want to feel loved, confident in ourselves and stay motivated. It is important to our overall mental health, and it can truly give us joy to give support as to receive it. God created us and he knows our personalities, he has provided countless verses in the Bible to not only encourage us but also to teach us the importance of lifting up those around us. Imagine how your community could change for the better with a little more encouragement between neighbors.
The root of gossip can be jealously. Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine any brighter. Let’s try to let our candles shine and mind our own biscuits. I know that when you make any step in the right direction it will be a change, even if its just eliminating a person’s name from your story.