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Aloof?

Last night, on Facebook, I read the following post by Lysa TerKeurst:

How bad is just a little gossip?

The Bible warns us that gossip will separate close friends and I believe it. There is nothing worse than to feel betrayed by a friend’s careless words. The Bible also warns us that what we sow, we’ll reap. In other words, if I gossip about others, I can almost bank on the fact that others will soon be talking about me.

Think of what a great gift it would be tell a friend that you’ve made the commitment to never say anything dishonoring about her. You know, I know how great this gift is because I had a friend make this commitment to me. And now my heart feels so safe with her. The trust we have is rare and beautiful.

I firmly believe that to have a great friend, you have to be a great friend. And becoming a woman who refuses to gossip is a wonderful place to start.

Oh, how this spoke to me.

Gossip is a topic that I’ve struggled with…especially after I returned to the workforce when Chicky was in middle school.

Being at home full time, it was much easier to avoid gossip.  I’m not much on socializing, so I really wasn’t around a lot of people.

Working outside of the home changed that.

I remember when I worked in an office full of women.

Oh the stuff I heard, even on my first day at one place, would have curled your hair.

Even though I try to avoid it, it’s nearly impossible.

I work hard not to talk about people, but I know I’m not perfect.  The times I have gossiped, I’ve tried to justify with lame excuses such as, “I just needed to vent.”

Yeah.

Right.

Why not call it what it is.

Something I have been really convicted of the last two or three years, though, is sitting places where gossip is going on around me.

Even though I may not be actively participating, am I any less guilty?

I mean, I am still listening, and by listening, aren’t I condoning the words I’m hearing?

What choice do I have?

Well, one of the choices I often make is to remain aloof.  Often, people see this as either stuck up or anti-social.

I am neither.

Well, maybe I am a little anti-social, but I operate better in very small groups, such as ones or twos.

I fight myself, though, wanting to be part of a group but feeling uncomfortable when stuff is being said about someone, although I will admit to guilty glee when the conversation turns to a person I’ve had a serious run-in with.

Still, I am a very loyal person, and if someone tells me something, I’m not a person who will run and blab it to others.

I want to be trustworthy and honor my friends, and I hope that I receive the same treatment in return.

I want people to believe I am a good friend because they trust me…because they know that I won’t gossip or say bad things behind their backs.

Gossip is a bad thing, to be sure, and I pray that the Lord shows me the best way to handle uncomfortable situations.

I pray He gives me the courage to remove myself from those conversations quickly, gracefully, and in a way that honors Him.

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