I am speaking of the difference between right and wrong--black and white--good and bad. Sometimes there is a precarious balance to remain on the side of right and not fall into the abyss of wrong.
It is amazing how the sound of the jungle drums from Ruston can be heard all the way to Fort Worth. WHO KNEW? The challenge I have is listening to only the facts and not participating in the gossip. OH, how we love to hear a tasty morsel of gossip. It allows others to be pulled down into the hole we have dug for ourselves.
Recently I heard a little tidbit and began thinking over is this gossip? I came up with a good rule of thumb. IF the information I hear is out in the public forum and is fact, then it is not gossip. For instance, IF your name appears in the obituaries and someone texts me to tell me you died--it is not gossip--it is fact. NOW if the conversation begins to drift into the non-public information, I am probably getting into the realm of gossip. If I am told you died (public information), and they have heard you had gangrene of the tongue from all of your filthy talk---THAT is gossip. KEY WORDS---"They heard".
Your Gossip Alert should immediately go off when you hear---someones name immediately followed by "Bless their heart". This is definitely going down the street of gossip.
I saw in the obituaries that Susie died. FACT
I heard she died from tongue gangrene. BEEPING STARTS
Susie died. Bless her heart, her tongue fell off from gangrene. You know how she loved to embellish every conversation with her trashy talk. BACK AWAY--STOP THE TALK
Why not gossip---because someone always gets hurt by gossip. If you ever were the topic of gossip--you understand what I am saying. Even if the talk is true--only repeated to you by the one who is the subject--but you then repeat it-it is gossip. When nothing is gained for the cause of Christ by repeating it, then do not repeat it!
AND GOSSIP HURTS
So what to do? I have asked that we change the subject. I have said, "Let's don't gossip." Refuse to listen and do not repeat what you did hear. Stay true to the right and refuse to fall into the pit of the wrong. Truth always wins and gossip always hurts.
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.