I keep coming up with new posts today. I finally settled on this one because it is the better of them.
I've discovered that I'm a gossip. I suppose that I should have realized it, but I didn't know how bad it was. I suppose if you follow the 12 step program, I am acknowledging that I have a problem. I'm a gossip.
The Bible talks about gossips a lot. It describes them as a women who sit around flapping their gums about people. I would say that I lean toward the venting and raging side rather than being malicious on purpose. But alas alas. I am a gossip. And gossips regardless are the most horrible of sinners in the Bible.
I realized it when at BSG last week. I read this great article about gossiping. I took the information, digested it, and made a mental note to be careful not to gossip. And there I was talking to this other lady about how I knew a woman who had six kids with five fathers. Yep, I was gossiping. Shame on me. I was making judgment call about a woman that I barely knew. I was judging her promiscuous behavior and not allowing her to defend herself. Shame on me. What right do I have to judge another human being's sins? I have my own to contend with. This was not venting about someone behavior towards me or a situation that I felt is intolerable. No this was me being malicious. It was cruel, mean, wrong, uncharitable, unChristian, and any other horrible adjective to describe my very sinful and judgmental behavior. Shame on me. I need confession really bad. I have for a while but to be honest with you I've been avoiding it and this weekend I'm not sure that I can carve out the time. But no excuses. I can always make an appointment.
I suppose that I haven't really understood what it meant exactly to be a gossip or I would have stopped this uncharitable behavior long ago. The article gave concrete guidelines on exactly what gossip is and what just regular conversation is.
He says to ask yourself five questions:
1) Is it true? Yes, as far as talking to her children. It is true.
2) Will it benefit anyone knowing this? It would if they were engaging in promiscuous sex or thinking about it. But alas alas, the lady I was talking to was married. So no, in that context, it was not beneficial.
3) Would you be willing to be known to all as it's source? No. It was too judgmental of me.
4) Would you be willing to say it to the person's face in public? Certainly not.
5) Is your motivation to help the person or self-seeking? If I was talking to her about pre-marital sex, then yes it would be for that person's benefit. But I know we were judging people's actions other than our own and so it was self-seeking.
He also says if you start off with "I probably shouldn't tell you this..." then you shouldn't talk about it. I don't remember if I said that or not.
So here I am a giant gossip. I won't say that it won't happen again. I will say that I will have to watch what I say from now on and try to stick to subjects about me and my family (in good ways). I need a gossip intervention and need to go to gossip rehab quick! Does anyone have any good suggestions for how to break this very very very sinful habit? Thanks!