the mill keeps turning.

I’ve noticed something lately.  Something that I have been a part of before, something that is prevelent and saturated within groups of woman.

Gossip.

And when I say gossip, I don’t just mean the kind that is malicious.  Not just the type where “mean girls” are making fun of the nerd-girl’s outfit.

Im talking about the type that pops up whenever 2 or more woman are sitting around a park bench, watching their kids swing.  The type that happens at Bible study group or the comment that seeps into conversation when someone is passing along a “well meaning” prayer request for another.

This is the type of gossiping that is permeating female conversation and I am done with it.

I don’t mean for that to sound lofty and it shouldn’t, because each of us has been a part of those converations, including myself.  On more than one occasion.

I’m simply stating that I am seeing it more and more and wanting to be a part of it less and less.

It seems that once you become a mother, the gossip mill starts churning at an even more rapid rate.  There is always something to talk about.  And sometimes the conversations start out well meaning or about a topic that relates to everyone.  

And THEN…..

“well, did you hear that Susie Q is not going to immunize her kids?”

“So, they rent?  I don’t know if I could live in that neighborhood.  The school district is bad, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?”

“I hear that Donna is going to work part time after she has the baby.  Hm.  Well, I couldn’t do that…”

“Charlene is having a hard time losing that baby weight.  Maybe she is going through a tough time.”

“Well, She is just really aggressive. That’s why we love her, but she is just kinda pushy.  You know her!”

“Yeah, Maggies kids are REALLY difficult and she is stressed out.  Maybe we could give her a book on parenting.”

*****

I KNOW you have heard these conversations.  I know you have been a part of them.

I have.

And each time, I go away ashamed.

Because, at the core, these conversations are gossip.  They are meant to tear down people, small detail by small detail, in order to make us feel better about our own situation.  Our own lives.  Our own choices. Our own kids, families, houses and bodies.

And they are useless, destructive and sin.

******

James 1:26
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “the mill keeps turning.

  1. I agree. It’s so easy to fall into. A concerned comment quickly morphs into a sugar coated feeding frenzy. Even in church groups. What are your plans for avoiding it. I ask because I really want to know.

  2. i am sad to say i am guilty of that. of course its not “intentional” but it happens.
    i too would like to know how u plan to avoid it.
    even among my own family gossip runs rampant – i do my best to avoid it and to stay clear of those that perpetuate it but am then ostrasized/shunned for being “distant”. A lot of times I just dont want to get involved. its also gotten to the point where I dont even talk about OUR life because I know it is being judged.
    how do we get out of this cycle?

  3. Ewww, yes, we’ve all been privy to it…..it takes a lot of guts to steer the conversation to something else rather than jump right into it. It takes a lot of love and concern and discipline to take that bull by the horns and choose the other road. But we really must….we really must. It only takes a few more words, minutes of conversation for it to become fully and truly disgusting gossip, right? I recently had to deal with a situation in my church where a woman voiced accusations about a man making inappropriate statements to her and she began to tell other women and her children!!!!, and I quickly told my husband we had to stop this going thru the congregation, because before you know it, every woman would know and people would label him, and all manner of evil would start swirling around even before the matter was addressed. It was like FIRE!!!
    Thanks for the challenge!

    suzanne

  4. Amen, sister! Preach it! We’ve all been there, but if ONE person with courage will say a very nice, and obviously positive thing about the person that is the target of that gossip…it kind of makes everyone stop and think…that’s a strategy that works for all but the most hardcore of gossipers. I tend to not like that sort of group and keep gatherings I attend to small ones!

  5. Elma

    Oh it happens all the time and it is so sad. You used to be able to go to your church if you are going thru a hard time but today you can’t. You don’t want anyone to know anything because it will spread like wild fire.And the more people talk the more the story gets bigger and bigger and soooo not true!! And Al allways says to take the high road and walk away. Wow a wonderful subject to think about:)

  6. Michelle Eastman

    Fabulous verse – convicting all on its own!

  7. Amy

    This is a hard one – because it pops up everywhere. Church, family, work … and it’s not just women. This is a hard one for me, personally, because I’m sarcastic to begin with. Sarcasm can be funny; but it also has a nasty habit of morphing into ugly. Sigh. Thanks for reminding me to be vigilant …

  8. Ugh. This is probably my biggest “sin struggle.” I just love a good story and entertaining people and too often what I’m telling is gossip. I’m a junkie. Lately though I’ve gotten sick of myself and I really am trying to do better.
    Thanks for calling us out on it! I need the reminders at every turn.

  9. noelle

    great verse! this is a tough one…i’ve really tried to control my tongue and keep words – either unkind or with an agenda to myself. i always think back to a particular comment that stands out in my memory when i spoke unkind words about a friend of mine. what i said was true and we weren’t close at the time – but now i think back to what was said and i’m embarrassed and ashamed. it was years ago – but it still comes to mind whenever i’m thinking of discussing a certain topic that could easily lead to gossip. my rule of thumb is – if i would be uncomfortable saying it in front of the person i’m talking about – then i shouldn’t say it 🙂 i still slip – but it is something that i am working on.

  10. cupcakecarnival

    Oh me oh my where has the blog roll gone?!

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