The Taste of Gossip

Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.
Proverbs 19:17
Gossip and gossiping are everywhere:  magazines, tabloids and the internet are filled with who is doing what to whom and why.  In our every day life it will come closer to home if you let it.
Gossip can be music to our ears and gossiping can be as tasty on the tongue as a fine chocolate - as long as it isn't about someone we really care about.
I work with a lot of high school and college students.  One of the high school girls told one of our fellow employees that she would not be friends with her on Facebook if the other girl was friends with another employee because of some drama that was brewing.  At that point, I walked away.  I didn't have the patience for this little girl's immaturity.

I try very hard not to gossip or listen to it.  I'm hardly innocent, but that music in my ears can hit some sour notes and the after affects of my words can often leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

Years ago I knew a woman who lived and breathed gossip.  It was her mission in life to know everyone's business and she would stop at nothing to be the first to know the latest news.  At first it didn't bother me, but after a while I started to back off.  It wasn't anything she said about me, it was what she did.
She told me with a completely straight face that she went through the desk drawers where a friend of hers worked and found memos and notes about other people which she swiftly told all who would listen.  She passed on going on a wonderful pilgrimage.  She gave me all kinds of excuses why she couldn't go, but then I realized she didn't want to go because she feared she might miss something here!
Am I gossiping by relating this?  I've struggled with the question.  I'm not revealing her name, it was a long time ago, I'm using it as an example, but ... I'm still not sure.
I have heard terrible rumors about people which I've tried to diffuse.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I just get a nasty look because perhaps the tidbit they are sharing not only lowers the one they are talking about, but deflects what's happening in the gossiper's life.
Jesus said, "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when yourself do not see the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."  (Luke 6:41-42)  
Or as I like to say, "Clean up the crap in your own backyard!"

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