Written by: Rachel Olsen
Article source: proverbs31.org

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” – Proverbs 18:8

Get-togethers with my friends or family typically wind up the same way. The men gather by the fire or TV, and talk about music or sports, while the women congregate in the kitchen for some old-fashioned “girl-talk.” For women, people and relationships tend to be the common ground of conversation. We are the more emotional and relational gender. We tend to gather in the kitchen—the heart of the home (plus, that’s where the food is). After all, girl-talk is deliciously enhanced by coffee or cheesecake. However, there is a side of girl-talk that is dangerous and addictive. It’s called gossip.

Why do we gossip?
I believe it’s the same reason we do other things that we know we shouldn’t, like flirt with the boss, or gorge ourselves on cheesecake—because it’s pleasurable. In the case of gossiping, we like the feeling of being ‘in the know’. At least for the moment, we can command everyone’s attention. Eyes widen and adrenalin pulses as we tell our friends the unbelievable news. They hang on our every word. Hearing gossip can make us feel almost as good as telling it—like we’ve been chosen and trusted with a secret. Gossiping feels good to everyone—except those who are the object of it.

Look inward
When I look inward at my own motives for gossiping, what I see is not appetising. I see pride, carelessness, and judgement. I see a self-serving attitude that likes the feelings gossip brings. Although gossip may taste good at the time, just like too much cheesecake, it can negatively affect my well-being. Gossip goes down into my soul bringing with it the weight of guilt and sin. I’ve come to realise that when I dish the dirt, or even listen to it, I’m serving dirt to my own soul.

Engaging in gossip is like serving dirt to your soul.

Fast from gossip!
Next time the girls gather, I’ve decided I’m going to fast from gossiping. I’ve pre-decided I’ll redirect the conversation, or simply excuse myself to the bathroom when gossip arises. I don’t wish to dish or devour dirt. When my heart is sensitive to God’s, gossip only gives me a sick feeling later. I will, however, have a cup of coffee and small serving of dessert. Which would you rather enjoy—a slice of cheesecake, or dirt? 

Dear Lord, please forgive me for gossiping. I know that it hurts others and harms me as well. Help me be sensitive to when I’m starting to gossip and give me the courage to hold my tongue or change the subject. Fill me with words of wisdom, discernment and encouragement.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Rachel Olsen is a mom, writer, speaker, & teacher. This article originally featured on proverbs31.org

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