"Stop. Please don't say another word about it. I do not need to know." I said this over and over. She kept on talking and telling me the secret as if it was perfectly normal to talk behind a person's back.
In the small town I grew up in, it was. Gossip was a way of life, if not life itself. Momma used to say that everyone knew when you were sitting on the pot peeing in our small Southern town. There was simply not much to do except talk, and who else would you talk about, but someone else. I dare say that almost never was it considered untrue. Almost all gossip was considered fact, not partly fiction, but fact.
Gossip has been mentioned so many times in the past 3 or 4 weeks that I think God is trying to say something to me about gossip, even though I no longer live in a state of virtual gossip anymore.
Last week, on facebook, I got passionate about being disallowed to attend any of my daughter's preschool parties. I am rarely so boldly passionate about anything other than God. But when you add my children into the equation, I can get pretty passionate. After the whole dilemma was posted, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my words because even though I held my tongue for the most part, I was out of line in my post and in my heart, so I deleted it. But I realized that I had exposed myself - my passion, my heart, my sin. Sometimes, our passions are meant to be exposed, and sometimes, we want to hide our passions for the very reason of sinfulness.
Lately, I've been hearing the word "REAL," and it has become my favorite word. I have come to view it has one of my favorite compliments. Real. real. I know that many people post things on facebook to make themselves look great. But real life is not always great. Sometimes, we are exposed for not really being real. We are fake. We are hypocrites. We like to sit on our thrones in judgment and hide. And really, that's what gossip does - it exposes. Whether it is all true or partly true, gossip tells half-truths, and it does so in order to expose someone else instead of ourselves. I love how 1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers over a multitude of sin. We are NOT called to expose others. I looked over the word "expose" on biblegateway. What I found was that GOD is responsible for exposing our sin.
A verse that stood out to me is Ephesians 5:12, "It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."
Another one is: "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God." 1 Corinthians 4:5
Do you feel the need to expose? Then expose yourself and be really real. Allow God to use your sinfulness for His good and glory. Confess to Him, and commit yourself to the Him. He will be faithful to you in this.
My friend, Rebekah, recently wrote a great post about gossip you can read here.