Each new day we get a fresh start, a do over, a chance to make today better than yesterday. I don’t know about you, but I could use a do over today. Why is it that Gossip is still something that lives and breaths in my life?!?!?
It is a daily challenge to align my thinking to Philippians 4:8. Some days I wallow in negative/anxious thinking. The problem with letting my thoughts run wild is that they eventually come out of my mouth and hurt the people I love.
I think of my “do over” as a “Thought life Make Over”!
Out with the old that didn’t work yesterday; emotional thoughts, low road thoughts, vengeful thoughts, impure thoughts, me centered thoughts.
In with the new for a good today; thoughts that honor God, lead to Peace of Mind and leave my mouth in a way that encourage others.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Is this thought of Good Repute or is it Gossip?
“Good Repute” means ‘kind’ or ‘of a good report like a true friend’.
You might try “Is this thought gossip?”
Gossip ruins friendships. I have to be sure that if someone tells me something in confidence, I can be trusted with it (Proverbs 11:13).
If this thought left my mouth, would I wound that friendship?
If it would hurt them or make them think twice before confiding in me again, it is not of good repute.
I have to take hold of that thought and push it out of my mind so that it will not eventually come out of my mouth.
When is it most likely to come out of my mouth?
I am most tempted to share something when it could impress others, make me look important, make others sympathize with me or prove a point.
This verse could easily read “Don’t try to get ahead by hurting someone else.”
I have messed up on this one; hurt people to climb the ladder, used others trying to impress people… even by sharing them as “prayer requests”. (This is gossip if it was shared confidentially!)
I may look good in that moment, but when life get’s hard, I will no longer be trusted… not by the person I betrayed or by the people who heard me.
Learning to stand on my own merit and experience required a change of thinking.
Now, when someone trusts me enough to share something sensitive I try to:
- Pray for them in that moment and in my quiet time -just me a God (Matthew 18: 19-20).
- Encourage them often – privately (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- Do not share even a hint of the situation unless they ask me to.
I am tempted in conversations that “speculate” about the situation. This is my struggle, but am actively working on it!
I try saying:
- “This sounds like gossip and I don’t like the direction it is going.”
- “I can’t really say what is happening, let’s go talk to ‘so and so’ about it”
- “Have you asked ‘so and so’ directly, they would be the one to know?”
Thinking thoughts that are of “Good Repute” is not my natural way to think, but when I do, I am less likely to speak badly and I have Peace of Mind about that!