Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is It Gossip?

Today my men's discipleship group met and discussed judging others and gossip.  The first I am guilty of as most of us are.  The second is usually associated with women so I was interested to see what the guys thought in regard to that issue.  Ultimately we all admitted that at least with our wives and possibly elsewhere we do end up talking about people that are not present in negative ways.  That is not to say we don't also talk about people that are not present in positive ways too but you get my point.

As I read the chapter in the book that goes with this topic, I kept wanting to see the author give an exception clause for marriage.  I mean, are my wife and I gossiping when we discuss our siblings, parents, home group members, and mutual friends in both positive and not-so-positive ways?  The line is hard to distinguish sometimes because you are not spreading rumors and you are not seeking other parties to share these opinions with.  But you are judging those in your life and conversationally injecting these thoughts into conversation with your spouse.

If that qualifies as gossip, I am very guilty.  And to be even more transparent, I have felt guilty many times in the midst of doing it.  I suddenly become aware of the elite and hypocritical stance I am taking and then begin wondering if the person I am discussing is also discussing me right now?  I also let thoughts like, "would I want God to show this person this particular conversation in heaven one day?"  If the answer is No, then I think re-framing the conversation might be warranted.  One solution this author offers and I've seen it work for me personally is to pray for the person you are gossiping about.  Soon your heart for them, their situation, and their struggles will soften and you will become an ally instead of judge and jury.

Where is the gossip line drawn and do you think husband and wife are guilty of it when discussing the people in their lives?