You just wrapped up lunch with your girlfriends. Your lipstick’s worn off from chatting and your mascara’s going to need reapplication from laughing so hard you cried. That’s when you realize that something else is worn out – your spirit. No amount of cosmetics will cover up how bruised and hurt your spirit is.
All throughout the meal you patted it on the head, consoling it by justifying your gossip. Then it quickly turned to hatefully ignoring the conviction it provided as you laughed with friends at the cost of an absent one. Before you know it, you’ve gone too far and altogether abandoned any feeling of guilt for your hateful discussion.
It’s not until you’re back in your car that you realize what you said and did. You’re deep in the gully of gossip. It’s gunk and mud are cloaked over your spirit. I know exactly how this feels.
My name is Hannah, and I’m a habitual gossiper. This is our gossip support group. It’s filled with different kinds of gossipers. Some are intent on hurting others, and some are small-white-lying gossipers. Whatever degree of gossiping you’re wrapped up in, these five points will help bring you into a place of recovery:
- Button Up. As my mama used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” If you are in the middle of a conversation where people are being talked about negatively, it’s best to just say nothing. Even if you have the juiciest bit of addition to their gripings, hold it in. Proverbs 17:28 says that even fools are thought to be wise if they hold their tongues. Run out of the room if need be!
- Look Up. Ask God how to wisely articulate words and escape this temptation. He’s right there with you in that conversation. He’s hearing every word said. Luke 22 shows Christ advising his disciples to pray they will not be tempted. Pray against gossip and ask God to speak through you. Will you choose to look up to Him and speak in an honorable way?
- Look In. Your friends are verbally tearing this person apart. Your natural reaction is to join in. What your friends dislike, you should dislike, right? But just for a moment, ask yourself what you really think about this person. Do you even know their struggles? Their reasoning? Their home life? Ephesians 4:29 says our speech must build others up according to their needs. Look in, dear sisters, and you might actually find you are called to serve this person.
- Keep In. Galatians 5 states in several verses how we must keep in step with the Spirit. Your Spirit of God and your spirit of flesh are in constant war with each other. Which will you keep in step with when it comes to your conversations?
- Keep Up. “As nail file sharpens nail file, so one gal sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17 (TLPHV- The Loosely Paraphrased Hannah Version). Who are you spending the most time with? Are they Christ followers, striving to honor God in their speech? If they are, you’ll fight to keep up. Make godly friends who make you want to keep up with them in their walk with God.
There you have it! Five ways to escaping the gossip gully! You may come out dirty, bruised or alone, but rest assured, the view is much better outside of the gully and on the Rock.