“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” (Prov. 20:19 NIV)
Gossips aren’t trustworthy.
Unfortunately, we are all guilty of gossip at some time or another. Webster defines gossip as: One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler. In other words, as soon as a gossip learns a bit of news, good or bad, they are quick to spread it around. A major problem with gossip, it’s usually not true.
When I was in elementary school, I remember learning this lesson. The teacher lined us up. She whispered something in the ear of the first person, who then told the next, and so on. When the message reached the last person, it had changed completely. What the teacher said and what the last person heard weren’t the same. The reasons why this happens are many. Someone didn’t hear correctly. Or maybe someone didn’t listen at all and made something up. Listening is a skill that develops over a lifetime. We all “hear” what we want to “hear” at times, even though it’s not what is actually said. Whatever the reason, truth and lies are entangled when we gossip.
God isn’t a gossip.
God’s word is truth. His promises stand the test of time. He doesn’t tell lies about people. He doesn’t talk about them behind their back. When you tell Him a secret, He keeps it. God isn’t waiting on His throne for a juicy morsel of news He can pass onto the angels. As soon as He hears a prayer request, He’s not turning to archangel Michael and whispering: “Hey Mike, did you hear what Beth just prayed?” God doesn’t betray our confidence. God is completely trustworthy.
In the last decade, I’ve started telling God things in prayer that no one else knows. My life has been hurt by gossip more times than I’d like to recall. Trusting people is difficult for me. The older I get, the less people I trust. Everyone has their own agenda, with their own self interests. Everyone but God, His interest is you. He wants what is best for you in all situations. When you pour your heart out to Him, He listens. He understands. He knows what to do.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” (Psalm 118:8 NIV)
Gossip is hurtful. Whether you’re gossip’s topic or the one spreading it, the ending is never good. Someone always gets hurt. Whatever the story, it’s a mixture of truth and lies. Discerning what is true is difficult. A rule of thumb I follow: if I can’t say it to their face, I shouldn’t say it behind their back.
With God, I let my guard down completely and tell Him everything. I know, He won’t gossip about it.
Question of the Day:
How has gossip affected your life?