My husband has a problem. You would agree with me, if I told you exactly what it is. In fact, if we were face-to-face, we might really sit and hash it out over coffee, nodding emphatically over the intricacies and pat each other on the back for not having this same problem. If you read it over the internet on my blog or on Facebook, you and I might get into a detailed chat over it; “sharing information” while we silently celebrate the fact that it’s not our problem.
The truth is: The real problem is me. You. Our desire to out one another under the guise of helping, when sometimes we are just gossiping. We are elevating ourselves while we crush someone else for sinning differently than we do. We all make mistakes, sin, and fall short. Our gossip makes our hearts dark towards people we love and cherish as the close-knit circle that we call family and friends. We tear our own people down just to feel like we are okay. The truth is: we are not okay.
If we are willing to treat those closest to us in this way, what makes us think we can love and pray for our enemies as Jesus calls us to? If we cannot see the good right before our own eyes, how can we see the good in people who intentionally hurt us (usually because they are in pain too) or openly hate us? Matthew 5:44 says this: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That is a crazy call to try to live up to, but it IS what we are called to do. I, for one, want to strive for this in my life.
As women, we are bent towards gossiping. That doesn’t mean that we cannot control ourselves, for God gave us a spirit of love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7.) That means that it is sometimes really hard for us to hold our tongues and not say something we shouldn’t. Tell me, reader, did you keep reading to get a juicy bit of gossip on my family? Are you wondering what my husband’s problem is? Were you hoping to nail me for gossiping about my husband when your eyes scrolled down the page over my words? You don’t have to answer, but I will admit that I sometimes read things for those reasons. It doesn’t make it right, please understand this. It just makes me human. It is a mistake.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not going to tell you what my husband’s problem is, because today I’m choosing to shut my mouth (and stop my fingers!) The book of Romans speaks of gossips in the same sentence as haters of God and faithless people. I know that I do not want to be in that boat. I don’t want those words spoken about me. I challenge you: when you are online reading, test your heart to see why you are reading certain things. Are you here to be encouraged? Do you need hope? Are you looking for a laugh or a silly joke to share with your family? Are you looking for someone else’s secrets so you can ignore your own problems?
I’ve always loved this: Before you speak, THINK. Is it TRUE? Is it HELPFUL? Is it INSPIRING? Is it NECESSARY? Is it KIND? I try to apply the same principles to my written words as to the ones that come out of my mouth. I hope you will be encouraged during the week to come to guard your heart and your lips as you read blogs, visit with friends, text, chat, and talk on the phone.
What type of blog posts do you read most? Have you ever thought about how gossip makes its way into chats, texts, and blogs?