Gossip. It’s a bitter, yet satisfying way to knock your enemies down a peg or two (Or so we think…). Letting words slip that are oh, so mean. But, you can’t help it! It is addicting.
The truth of the matter is, we are selfish. We want to talk our enemies down so that we feel better about ourselves! We know that it isn’t right, but sometimes it feels like the only way, and sometimes we don’t even realize that we are gossiping!
It is easier to just let words flow out of our mouths, like a river flows to an ocean, than to think about our words.
Truth be told, God doesn’t like gossip. Just take a look at Philippians 4:8:
” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think on such things. “
Face it: gossip doesn’t exactly fit the bill. We’re better off without it. Here is my personal checklist to avoid gossip.
“God is hearing what I am saying. Are these words He would be proud of? Am I ashamed to say them knowing that God is listening?” Start with this step. Speaking from personal experience, it is hard to be negative when you acknowledge that God is listening.
“By using these words, am I making myself a better person? Am I making someone seem like a bad person? Is someone going to get hurt?” Quickly assess the situation- can you say such words without looking over your shoulder to make sure that no one is listening? If you feel guilty, you probably shouldn’t be saying it.
Is what you are about to say THOUGHTFUL? HELPFUL? INSPIRING? NECESSARY? KIND? T.H.I.N.K. your words through. This acronym has helped me on more than one trying occasion.
4. CHECKLIST NECESSARY?
FOUR? I thought there were only three? Well, technically yes, there are only three. If you feel that this checklist is necessary, it is probably gossip. Save the time of going through it, unless you feel it is absolutely necessary, which sometimes it can be. I myself have used it. Most of the time though, if I feel that I have to use it, the words I am testing are probably gossip.
I’d love to chat with you!
- Do you struggle with gossip?
- How do you stop yourself from gossiping?
- If you often gossip, what drives this?
- In what ways has gossip caused you more trouble than what you were looking for?