Archive | September 2017

How Christians Have Taken the Term Gossip Too Far

 

Hi guys! I’m alive! XD And I’m back with another blog post. I know in my earlier post, I talked about a special project, and just for all those wondering what happened, it’s still in progress! I’m just taking a little bit more time since it’s on a topic near and dear to my heart, so it’ll be just a while longer and then I’ll show it to y’all. But for now, I wanted to share something that has been bothering me for some time. I hear a lot about the term gossip in Christian communities, and the more I hear about it, the more I wonder if the term has lost it’s meaning, especially for Christians.
In my personal opinion, and nobody has to agree with me, but I believe Christians use gossip in a wrong fashion. The term ‘gossip’ is usually used to stop a conversation about someone else, but I know for me, it really has to depend on what the subject is about.
I know, a lot of people are probably going to be like,”But all gossip is evil.” That’s what I want to talk about. Are we mixing up ‘discuss’ and ‘gossip’? I believe so. Here’s why:
Alright, so when we engage in a conversation, what do we usually talk about? Yeah, sometimes it’s about our daily life, maybe a situation that happened, but around 80% of conversations will usually include another person. Whether it’s just talking about a person involved in the situation you were also involved in, or about what the other person did, chances are, another person is going to be involved in that conversation.
Is this gossip? I’d imagine most people would say,”Well it depends on what’s being talked about.” EXACTLY. This is how I approach the term gossip. Dictionary defines gossip as: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
Okay here’s the deal. If it involves rumors that will intentionally hurt someone, I can see this being classified as gossip. I mean, come on, if you’re talking about someone in an effort to hurt them, that’d probably be considered gossip. But unless you have a crazy evil intent (some people do actually 0-0), talking about someone else is not considered gossip.
Dictionary also defines the term ‘discussion’ as: the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. This is how it should be. For example, if someone is physically or mentally trying to get to you, and you go to a group of friends or your family for help on how to handle the issue, as well as to receive comfort, is this going to be considered gossip? No way! Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to be there for support.
And this is where I think some Christians miss it. If I’m discussing something with someone and I’m wounded, physically or mentally, I don’t want to be told I’m gossiping. You’re basically telling that person,”Hey, you’re not open to talk to me about this anymore. This is gossip.” It seems a bit unfair, and this is why I don’t believe in the term “gossip” as it’s used today.
Of course, we want to be Biblical about it. Ephesian 4:29 states: do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for bringing others up according to their needs, that they may benefit those who listen.” Key words that especially stand out to me are ‘ bringing others up according to their needs.’ Basically, encourage eachother according to their situation and the need during it. That’s why I think immediately labelling something as gossip is dangerous as Christians. Of course, we should not aim to hurt others with our words, but let’s not be so quick to shut down conversation with ‘that’s gossip.’ Our aim is to encourage and support and be there for people, and not to tear them down.