I have decided to give up gossiping.
Some may be surprised because you have never heard me gossip, or you can't even picture me gossiping.
Awww. That is so sweet. Thank you.
Others are wondering why I've waited this long, and are probably curious as to whether or not we will have anything to discuss the next time we meet.
I'm not really that bad.
To be honest, I'm probably somewhere in the middle of really good and really bad. It seems that in certain situations I am more prone to let my tongue wag, while in other environments, I can be as quiet as a church mouse. And just as well behaved.
However, it is all neither here nor there.
Gossip is destructive. It causes pain. Bears no good fruit. And, in my opinion, a sign of insecurity in the one doing the gossiping.
So, why do it?
If I were to be completely honest, and I am trying very hard to be completely honest...I would have to say that much of the time, I have gossiped out of a place of insecurity.
If I look back over the times and places I have gossiped, I feel that they were times and places where I didn't feel confident in who I am. By bringing someone else's flaws to the table, I offer up a sacrifice other than myself. When others are focusing on the flaws of another, they are less likely to notice that I put on a few pounds, have failed at yet another business venture, forgot to iron my shirt...etc, etc.
In other words, if I don't want you to see me, I will hide behind another.
Courageous, aren't I?
Other times I believe I have gossiped out of boredom and because everyone else is doing it.
Or maybe because I am too shy to do the right thing in fear that others will realize they are doing the wrong thing; and will in turn blame me for pointing it out with my own lack of participation.
Or perhaps I have gossiped for the same reason I slow down at a wreck, watch the scary movie through squinted eyes, or ask someone to taste the really awful thing I just tasted. "Oh my gosh, this is awful! You have to try it!"
In other words, human beings seem to be drawn to the pain and suffering of others. We slow down to catch the bad news out of the corner of our ear; and then trot off to share it with others, complete with a drawn face, request for prayer, and a shake of the head.
Or perhaps you feel that I am incorrect in all of my aforementioned assumptions.
I am unlikely to change my mind, as I am committed to no longer be a "weapon that is formed against" someone, as that weapon never prospers (Isaiah 54:17, KJV).
However, I am interested in your thoughts. I welcome them and promise to respect your opinion.
Feel free to share in comments or email.