Do you like stories? Me, too. I love reading novels. Those fictional tales take me away to places and times that are captivating. An excellent wordsmith is able to compose the most realistic tale. Each author should have an incomparable style and storyline.
Not all stories are written. Do you ever hear stories from someone that happen not to be theirs to tell? That, my friend, is called gossip. The dictionary defines gossip as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” Whether true or not, information shared about another is gossip.
My husband has been ill for a few years. Recently a friend called to see if I wanted to join a lunch group now that my husband is in a nursing home. Totally bewildered, I thanked her and explained that he was sitting right beside me on the loveseat. Someone had told my story and evidently not correctly.
Scripture tells us in James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Did that step on anyone’s toes besides mine? After the gossip incident about my husband, I have been increasingly more careful about not telling someone else’s story.
We should all be able to tell or keep our stories. Have you had someone tell something that was only for you to share? What were your feelings? Mine ran various directions. I was upset, embarrassed, confused, humored, and saddened. The information shared was not malicious. In fact, it was probably spoken lovingly and possibly even asking for prayer over my situation. The issue is it is incorrect and was given by a second or third editor and not the author, me.
Do you unintentionally gossip? Perhaps you don’t realize during an innocent conversation with your best friend that you are transgressing. It happens unknowingly and often. Be on guard with your words especially if you are sharing information about someone else. Make certain you have facts and they uplift your friend. Remember, unless you have heard the story from the leading character, chances are it is not a verified edition.