By: Reba Phelps
Have you heard any good rumors lately? Or as the kids today say, “I have some piping hot tea ready for your consumption”.
Did you see what she posted on Facebook? Did you hear that they are split up and there was another person involved? I heard it was all her fault, she sure did gain a lot of weight. Their child was caught drinking at a party over the weekend. I heard their child was expelled from school. I thought they were Christians? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I heard she was caught with her tinsel down around her knees.
I threw in the last one to see if you were paying attention and to make sure you know your Steel Magnolias lines.
Most disturbing rumors and gossip start with some variation of, “you didn’t hear this from me but…” or, “don’t repeat this but….”. If you are an old pro at this you may even seem like you are truly concerned about the victim in which you are speaking of. “We should be praying for them because I heard…..”. Or, you may end your statements with, “Bless their hearts”.
Can you just hear Claire saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody come sit by me”?
Rumors can be so hurtful to the families who are involved. If something is rumor-worthy, typically it is because it is causing someone, somewhere an intense amount of pain. Pain, which will more than likely take a long time to recover or perhaps never recover from.
I have a good friend who gave up gossiping for Lent a couple of years back and encouraged everyone to do the same. At first we all tried diligently to follow her lead. But, it was much harder than one could ever imagine. She took great joy in reminding us that we were gossiping. It is truly amazing what all she considered to be gossip. She ran a tight ship.
It became comical when we attempted to circumvent the system by saying, “Would it be considered gossip if I told you something that was absolutely true and I saw with my own eyes?” Another repeatedly used line was, “An example of gossip would be if I happen to tell you that I heard (you fill in the blank)”.
The whole Lenten season shined an unintended light on the amount of gossip that is shared among friends. When you remove gossip from your conversations your words are very limited in some cases or in our case it opened the door for more meaningful conversations.
People aren’t perfect and they will always be judged harshly by their critics. People will always have follies that land them in the center of someone’s conversation. They have since the beginning of time. The Holy Bible was built on mistakes, one parable at a time, and it shined an intentional light on our need for a savior.
One thing that most do not take in to consideration is that the problems you judge today may become your problem in the future. Life has a way of rewarding you when you take joy in relishing in the struggles of others. Life will humble every single one of us at some point in time.
Can you just imagine the rumor mill when Jesus was born and then walked on this earth?
He was born of a virgin. Mary could have been stoned to death. Mary’s son flipped over tables at the temple out of anger. He walked on water. He fed five thousand with five loaves. He healed the lepers and made the blind see. He raised people from the dead. All of these things, even by today’s standards, seem extremely rumor worthy.
Jesus befriended a woman at a well. I heard he told others he was the Son of Man. Who does he think he is?
I am not sure about you but I am eternally grateful that he will be the one who determines if we make it past the pearly gates and not a jury of our peers.
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgement on it. There is only one lawgiver and judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” – James 4:11-12