From Beth Moore - Whispers of Hope
Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; 26:20-28
Most of us readily agree that gossip is wrong, yet we love it. We crave it. We nearly fall out of our chairs leaning to hear it. We spend fortunes on magazines that publish it. We know God wants us to avoid gossip, but it pulls us like wild horses pull a wagon. Let's identify a few of those wild horses. What drives us to gossip?
- Boredom. Nothing appeals to the senses like a soap opera. Our personal lives are often in a rut. We need a little excitement and someone else's life temporarily delivers.
- Curiosity. God created us to be curious so we would seek knowledge and grow. Listening to gossip is a counterfeit of the God-given desire for knowledge.
- Jealousy. We especially enjoy gossip if it concerns someone we envy. When we allow the flesh to control us, we are more likely to enjoy hearing that someone we envy looks worse than we do. The news may even make us feel better about ourselves.
- Companionship. Misery loves company. "Well, at least I'm not the only one whose family is a mess!"
- Importance. We sometimes enjoy being considered a person in-the-know. We may attempt to impress others with how much we know.
- Misdirected "concern." Sometimes we share confidential information in the name of "concern." We all have experienced, perhaps even participated in, situations where gossip was dressed up with a hat and gloves and called a "prayer request."
We've all been guilty of gossip, but what do we do about such a driven team of tongues? We can let God tame those wild horses! He can rope the horse gone wild.
- Boredom can be remolded into a passion for Christ.
- Curiosity can drive us to know Christ.
- Transformed jealousy can fuel a passion "for" others highest good.
- Our quest for miserable companionship can become our expression of mercy.
- Craving importance can push us to learn our true identity in Christ.
- Misdirected "concern" can become compassion tempered with discretion.
Now a side-note from me...
I feel that you should also apply this to listening to gossip. Be ready to say, "I don't think I should hear this." or change the subject.
Also... at what point does a concern become gossip?