Thursday, March 26, 2009
Gossip: Part Two
As 1 Corinthians 15:33 states, "bad company corrupts good character".
In Sheri Rose Shepherd's book, Fit for Excellence, she discusses three different forms of gossip: "general gossip", "silent gossip" and "godly gossip". In this post, I'd like to address the second form, "silent gossip".
This is probably the form of gossip that I have most often and most recently participated in. "Silent gossip" is the type of gossip that we participate in simply by being in the presence of a gossiper. We don't have to say a word; but our refusal to defend the gossipee or walk away from the conversation confirms that our heart is turned toward the gossip and not toward the Lord.
I will admit, I usually feel terribly uncomfortable in this sort of situation but don't want to "hurt anyone's feelings" by walking away in the middle of the conversation. Instead, I find myself giving the gossiper some sort of pat response like, "well, that's too bad" or "hmm...I don't know...". I need to work on being bold and either speak up in defense of the one being talked about or walk away when the conversation begins to turn to gossip.
Like Shepherd points out, if someone will gossip around you, surely they will gossip about you. Be careful little ears what you hear---and, just as importantly, be very careful regarding with whom you choose to spend your time!