Moms, Stop and Think the Next Time You Are Tempted to Bite Into Gossip!
Imagine with me if you will. You have in front of you your very favorite thing to eat. I don’t know what that is for you. It could be cherry pie, bread pudding, or a chocolate chip cookie. It might be more on the salty side like potato chips or movie popcorn or something substantial like pizza – yum! For me it’s chocolate Coke cake with vanilla ice cream. To me, there isn’t anything better!
Now think about the feeling you have right before you take the first bite. It’s exciting! You know it’s going to taste so good! Your anticipation is high because you know every bite will be a taste you love and crave. It’s a bit of a rush!
Compare that feeling to how you felt the last time you had a juicy piece of information about someone else on the tip of your tongue and you wanted so badly to share it. It’s exciting! You know people are going to love hearing it. Your anticipation is high because you know what it feels like to be “in the know”. It’s a bit of a rush! The Bible calls that juicy piece of information a “delicious morsel” and ”a tasty treat that promises delight to those who indulge”.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
Proverbs 18:8,26:22 (NIV)
Otherwise known as gossip. The act of sharing this “delicious morsel” is a sin and scripture says a person who indulges in this “tasty treat” is branded a fool.
So what exactly IS gossip?
Gossip is defined as information about the behavior or personal life of other people, often without the full truth revealed or known. Scripture also uses the word “slander” for gossip, which means making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. This is so easy to do and we often succumb to the temptation to share our thoughts, opinions, judgements and secrets of other people without even realizing we’re doing it.
God’s word explains this very clearly in Ephesians 4:8.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear it.”
Gossip is easy at any point in life, but, boy, does it ever get tempting as a mom.
- We need to explain to someone why we don’t invite Timmy over anymore.
- We have to warn our friends about a particular mom who is difficult.
- We need to let people know that even though our child is not the best student, so and so’s child is even worse.
- We’re not supposed to share it, but here’s the reason why Johnny made the basketball team when he really shouldn’t have. …and it goes on and on and on.
Why do we feel such a desire to gossip even when we know we’re not supposed to?
Plain and simple, we get attention when we gossip and we like it. It feels cool. We’re ashamed to admit it, but sometimes we feel better about ourselves when we put someone else down. And quite frankly, some of us are bored, need drama, and are drawn to scandal. Unfortunately as Christians, sometimes we’re even more susceptible to gossip in the name of pointing out someone else’s sin.
Gossips hurt neighbors, divide friends and damage reputations. The Bible labels gossipers as untrustworthy and meddlesome and even as worthy of death. Romans 1:29 and 32 is very clear about this.
“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips… Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
When we gossip, we are encouraging and enticing the unsuspecting person we are with to “approve of” what we are saying and inviting them into our sin.
So what do we do if we are struggling with gossip or know someone who gossips a lot, yet we want desperately to honor God with what comes out of our mouths as well as what we listen and respond to?
We know as believers we are told to use our words to love others….
Acknowledge That It Is Gossip
There is always a moment right before we say something about someone. In that brief moment, we have a choice of two paths:
- blessing or curses
- mercy or judgment
- tearing down or building up
“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 about such things.”
I recently became aware of “the tunnel test of Phil. 4:8”. The tunnel test refers to the practice of making sure we filter whatever we are going to say about a person through the tunnel of that verse. Is our comment or information about someone….
If our words make it all the way through the tunnel of those qualifications, it’s ok to say. If not, we need to use that brief moment to acknowledge that it is gossip and stop ourselves from speaking.
Mind Our Own Words Using His
You might be familiar with the verse in Luke, Chapter 6.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45 (ESV)
This is extremely encouraging because this is saying that our words come from what we are filling our minds with.
- If we want our words to be encouraging, fill our minds with His Word.
- If we want our words to be true, right or praiseworthy, fill our minds with His Word.
- If we want to know that our words do NOT pass the tunnel test, fill our minds with His Word.
You will find when you are in God’s Word everyday, the words that come out of your mouth more supernaturally honor His commands and promises.
The words we speak are a testimony to what we have in our hearts. As Christ followers, what we say about others stands as a witness to Who is guiding and guarding our mouth and tongue. May we use our words to edify and bless those who hear them.
If you want to learn more about how to live a Godly life as a mom in today’s world, listen to this Spotify podcast below:
At MomQ we believe that motherhood is a calling from God. While it is both a privilege and an honor, it is by no means easy! Moms have a lot of questions/concerns and need caring support along their journey. Whether you are a brand new mom or a little more seasoned, MomQ is here to help you fulfill your God given role. Don’t see a group in your area? Contact us today about starting one in your community!
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