Is It Gossip, or Sharing in Love?
- Thursday, April 27, 2006
“You know I don’t repeat gossip,” my friend leaned over the snack bar table and said with a wink. “So you’d better get it right the first time.”
I hunched over to hear the latest piece of “skating rink news” and quickly got an ear full, which I promised not to “repeat.”
We were skating moms, bound each day by the long hours of rigorous practice necessary for our daughters in order to become the national champions they eventually became. We were both bored and stirred by the Peyton Place atmosphere of the facility and its club members.
We were also Christians.
Sharing in Love & Other 'Informative' Methods
Have you ever heard the following: “I need to tell you something. I’m not gossiping; I’m sharing in love.”
Several years ago, while sitting in an airport I received a phone call from one of my best friends, author and speaker Linda Evans Shepherd. She had just read a book—a novel—about a group of friends. “Problem is, Eva,” she said from her car as it wove through the Colorado Rockies, “I don’t know any group of women like this. If I were going to write a book about friends—Christian friends—I’d call it The Potluck Club and I’d write about the kinds of women I know…the kind that bring potluck to prayer meetings and then spend all their time eating and…well….”
Mmmhmm. My mind raced back to some of the prayer meetings and potluck suppers I’d attended over the years. The sagas and the dramas! Women talking and tsk-tsk-ing while dining on homemade fried chicken and delectable potato salad. My, my, my. Gossip, gossip, gossip….
I laughed as I thought about that thing I call the “informative prayer.” You’ve probably heard a few yourself. It goes like this: Dear Lord, we come here tonight to pray for Jack. You know, Father, the church scoundrel. He has cheated on his wife nearly their whole marriage. He’s been drinking too much and has been seen gambling in nearby towns. Lord, we ask that you restore his marriage because his wife has now asked him for a divorce. Be with their children and keep the gossip at bay.”
When you hear these prayers, peek an eye open. You’ll notice a few mouths gaping, a few pray-ers jotting notes in their prayer journal, and maybe even one or two hurrying out of the building with cell phones in their hands.
What Draws Us to Gossip?
Well, guess what: the book, The Potluck Club, was co-written by Linda and me. What amazed me the most was the amount of women who exclaimed, “I know so many women like this!”
Do you now?
What do you think draws us to gossip? What is so important about knowing everyone else’s secrets? Does it make us feel superior to speak ill of another? Does it make us feel better about our lot in life? Is it that we just don’t like someone, so we set out to hurt them? Or do we sometimes just get caught up in the emotional thrill of hearing idle chit chat (as long as it isn’t about us)?
TV shows, magazines, and newspapers that reveal all the news—both good and bad—about those we tend to idolize from Hollywood and New York have made a vast fortune off of the natural desire to hear gossip. Reporters could care less if they are telling the truth, expanding the truth, or hurting others with their tales. Their job is to get as much of the truth as they can and then work around it.
But why would we—even us Christians—be drawn to hear it? Or repeat it? Or share it in love? Especially when it is about those we say we love, and not some star we’ll most likely never meet.
What the Bible Says
Recently on Spiritual Life
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content