A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

~Proverbs 11:13, NLT


Because the human heart is driven by self-justification, gossip is almost irresistible.

~Timothy Keller

Keller has been on gossip for a week and to be honest with you, I did not want to blog on this subject. Most of us had rather discuss the problems of others than to be honest about our own problems. Mother said repeatedly, “People who live in glass house do not need to throw rocks.” We all live in glass houses. I am going to be bold and break with tradition: I am guilty of gossip. I am not proud of my guilt and it is certainly a sin I want to be delivered from but I know I am guilty. Gossip can destroy a friendship. We all need friends that we can talk with in confidence. Humans are like tea kettles, every now and then, they over heat and need to blow off a little steam. I’ve heard people say things that they didn’t mean and things that I knew did not need repeating. It happens, we get angry at a person over a situation and we explode. When our temper cools, we realize that we spoke in anger. The gossip will repeat what we have said; he or she will break a confidence. The talebearer will go straight to the other person and give them their version of what you said. Everyone needs a friend they can trust but don’t trust everyone. People who really love you will try to protect you; people who don’t will use what you have said against you when it comes convenient for them.

Gossip is a sly dog that wears many disguises. Sometimes it pretends to be compassionate and caring. It can also masquerade as a prayer request or as a word of advice, or sharing information. Most gossips over use the word ‘share’. I cringe when I hear the phrase, “There is something I need to share with you.” Gossip and slander are subtle and elusive. Those who have made it an art know how to drop an innuendo into the conversation without drawing attention to themselves. Keller mentions three kinds of gossip: [1] the first is carelessness. That is when we talk too much and we break a confidence without realizing what we have done. [2] Secondly, there is the intentional gossip: we know what we are doing and we do it anyway. [3] The third level is malicious gossip which is usually motivated by jealously or envy. The intention of malicious is to hurt and destroy. It is starting a rumor that could destroy a person’s reputation.

Things we should consider before engaging in gossip. [1] Would I want others to be discussing my personal affairs the way I am discussing theirs? [2] Is this something that I should talk to the person about, face to face, rather than talking to someone else about it? [3] Would the person I am talking about mind me sharing this information? [4] Will my discussing this persons personal life help this person or hurt them?

I don’t know about you but as for me, certain names can be dropped and I have to bit my tongue to keep my dogs in the truck. Truth be known, I seldom bit my tongue. But a friend can be mentioned: someone I care about, and I close my ears and refuse to take part in the conversation. I have even been known to rebuke which I am not good at doing. So analysis that! Just kidding, I know what it means. I don’t love everyone the same and I don’t treat everyone the same. I am extremely bias towards those who have been good to me.

Will the insanity ever end? Halloween begins this evening at 5:00. I guess I will be hanging out at 1120 Ironman and on the farm. Thank goodness there is an exclusion for worship. This world has gone nuts. Oh well, wouldn’t call it persecution or suffering. Inconvenient is probably a better word and perhaps annoying. June and I have planned two short vacations and had to cancel both. Now we plan to go to St. Louis in August: I bet that gets canceled too. Life is filled with disappointments. I keep reminding myself that other people have real problems and I need to be thankful. Sometimes frustration can overwhelm our perspective. So I will praise the LORD and I will give thanks not because I feel like it but because my will is greater than my emotions and it is the right thing to do. Praise Jesus! Thank you LORD for your blessings.

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