Recently, a friend and I had been discussing that people love to talk about others’ mishaps to make themselves feel better. Then I read James 3 & 4 this morning and I began to think about gossiping and its ripple effects.
” It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. ” (James 3:6 MSG)
“Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God‘s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?” (James 4:11 MSG)
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TO GOSSIP?
1) It makes them feel better about themselves. Humans are competitive and want you to either a) be on their level or b) feel like they are now better than you due to learning about a mistake(s) you’ve made. This is why people shouldn’t put others or themselves on too high of a pedestal; we are human.
3) People are BORED. The busier I am, the less time I have to call and text my friends about what I’ve heard about your mom or Susie.
4) Some pride themselves as being the source of “information”. I mean people are making a living off of it, no shots fired but I’m just saying.
5) There are probably some other reasons that I can’t think of right now…….so just *insert here* if you think of any.
Gossip can cause division and tarnish reputations which has its own set of possible outcomes. People have had mental breakdowns or killed themselves due to the scrutiny and opinions of others. Friendships/relationships have been ruined. Someone may view you differently due to something they’ve heard without giving you a chance or knowing the full situation. So, I thought about myself and times that I have gossiped. My intention may not have been to make someone look bad but that my gossiping was rather “innocent” and/or I was merely reporting the “facts” to a close friend (I still didn’t believe in going around spreading rumors to the masses). I had to check myself and think about what I heard may have been a blatant lie or not the whole truth. I also thought about myself, friends and family. What if someone gossips about us? How would I like that then?
Now, let’s be realistic….most people will not stop gossiping. But you can take something away from this….simply watch what you do. I am not an advocate for doing wrong and trying to hide it. I think we should just try to do right the first time and blah blah blah. However, you know how people are and yes, we shouldn’t care what people think but there IS a verse that states that we shouldn’t let our “good be evil spoken of”. Since, we can’t stop people from talking and gossiping but we can watch how we react and if we engage in it. Personally, I try to change the subject or not say much. I even go as far as to tell people that I don’t care to hear someone else’s business. I also try to watch what I say now. I have done plenty of wrong and can’t speak on someone else in the first place. WHO AM I?
So if you’re a person that gossips, cool. Just stay away from me or don’t expect me to tell you anything personal because I am sure you’d “run and tell that” as the great Antoine Dodson once stated. Let’s try to do better and think about the consequences of our actions and words. One more person minding their own business is a wonderful thing.
Have a blessed weekend!