I have found myself unable to trust people after I know that they have been saying things about someone else. The reason I lose trust is I start to think, "Well, what is that person saying about ME when I'M not in the room?" So, naturally, that person becomes less trustworthy and it starts to eat away at my relationship with them. This is ESPECIALLY true when I see the gossiper turn around and be totally sweet to the person about whom they were gossiping. Ouch!~that hurts ME to see how two-faced that can be.
Now, this topic and my feelings on it would lead one to say, "So, Tammie, you never gossip?" WRONG. I have totally been the gossiper as well. It's a common sin, and commonly I have struggled with it, as most people do. But I have recently seen my friendships falling apart when gossiping becomes the basis, and I find it hard to steer the conversation away from it. That tells me that my friendship might not be on a solid foundation.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about gossiping and slander:
Some ways that we might "mask"
(unsuccessfully) our gossip:
- I don't feel comfortable talking about this when ____person's name_____ isn't here.
- I'm trying to avoid things that might be considered gossip, so I'd rather not talk about that, or even hear it.
- I'd hate to say anything about this situation because I know how bad I'd feel if others were talking about me when I wasn't there.