Psalms in Rhyming Meter
Have you heard?
We need to pray for…
Don’t share this with anyone…
What motivates us to gossip? Do we even notice when we’re doing it? It is not easy to stop a story once we realize it’s not something that should be shared. Psalm 15 begins by asking who will dwell with the Lord. Verse two starts answering that question.
He who by upright walk shall bless,
Who worketh works of righteousness,
. Who speaketh truth in heart,
Whose tongue to slander will not bend,
Who will not stoop to harm a friend,
. Nor play the gossip’s part;
Psalm 15:2-3 from God’s Song: Psalms in Rhyming Meter
Lauren Arjona has written an excellent article on gossip that appears on Lifeway.com. One aspect of gossip I had not considered was her statement that God doesn’t even care if the story we’re about to pass on is true or not – he still forbids the sharing. She lists several reasons why we participate in this activity. I’d like to add another, piggy-backing on her thought that knowledge is power.
I believe one reason we gossip is because we think it exalts others’ opinion of us. We must be special to be trusted with private information. We must be smart to have figured out such-and-such. We must be a step ahead of the crowd to know what we know. And we want everyone else to know we know it.
This is opposite of the biblical principle of humility.
In Stephen’s Ministry we were trained to keep information confidential. One reason for not sharing is because it is not our story. We have no right to share another person’s story without permission. The story doesn’t belong to us. Don’t steal another person’s thunder. The tale should be fresh when and if they want to share it. Respect their ownership of the information.
Perhaps you’ve heard of these filters when considering if you should say something. Is it good? Is it true? Is it necessary? Will it edify someone? Will it hurt someone?
Lord God, there is so much good news about you and your son Jesus and the changes you are working in my life. Remind me to use my tongue to share these things and not anyone else’s story. Put a guard over my lips that they might bring glory to you and not shame to me.
What about you? How do you stop others from gossiping in your presence? Do you struggle with the tension between honest sharing and unhealthy gossip?