1 Timothy 5:13 - Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
You’re in your seat minding your own business when a few snickers begin to ebb and flow around you. You try to ignore it and listen to what the teacher is saying, but her back is turned to the classroom. And she’s clueless. But you’re not.
You glance to the left and then the right. Out of the corner of your eye you see a piece of paper being past to one of your classmates. Your eyes latch hold of the girl two seats across. She cups her hand over her mouth trying to stifle a laugh.
You turn around now a bit more boldly when you figure it out – no one is passing the note to you. And here we go again.
When will they just leave me alone, you wonder. So what if I’m a little bit different. They don’t need to keep making up stuff that isn’t true. You bury your head in your hands and begin to cry.
Me, zero; bullies, one.
Gossip is like that “secret” note passed around in class. Except, instead of a written note passed around by kids, it’s a vicious rumor passed from one person to the next by adults.
Gossip is a cruel form of communication. It seems to grow expeditiously when spread around. And many adults are like those kids in school who made fun of me. They feed upon the misfortune of others, in a feeding frenzy, just waiting for the next juicy morsel to be passed around.
The sad part is there are only a few kind souls who will hear gossip and refuse to pass it around.
A similar form of gossip is when someone finds out you’re suffering from a mental health issue. At that point there’s a choice to be made: share the information and start to gossip, or be sensitive to the needs of the hurting.
Life tends to move in cycles. Sometimes things are going pretty well. Other times are full of sharp rocks and deep waters. You may currently not be suffering from a form of emotional pain, but be careful how you treat others. Sometimes life cycles around and you’re the one in pain only hoping to be understood.
As the Bible verse above says don’t get into the habit of sitting around being a busybody, gossiping, and say things you know you’re not supposed to say. God will give you the strength to be kindhearted in your thoughts and with your words.
Below you’ll find a link to an article on ways to respond to and stop gossiping.
Have you been the subject of gossip? How did you get past it? Or, have you been the one gossiping? I’d love to hear from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.