Hi friend! This post truthfully doesn’t paint me in the best light but I am so grateful to God for His grace. I am so blessed to say that I am not this person anymore. In this post I talk about gossiping and how I asked and allowed God to purify my heart.
I (used to) love gossiping. Nothing got me more excited than knowing I had a juicy piece of information about someone. I was never the person who always had the 411 but once it got to me, I couldn’t wait to share it.
There was a person that I could. not. stand. I felt I had a legitimate reason to not care for them. I felt that they were rude, snooty and flat out disrespectful. So every chance I got, I would talk about them because I knew other people felt the same way.
Then, back in January, God wrecked my heart and things began to change. After I rededicated my life and truly had a change of heart, God began to show me areas that I desperately needed to work on. One of the first areas that He exposed to me was my love of gossip.
I began to view that team member differently. I saw myself in them and then I started to feel horrible. I began to go out of my way to make conversation with them. I learned that they were actually into some of the same hobbies that I was interested in. I began to look forward to interacting with them because they were a very pleasant person.
I started to think about Ephesians 4:29 almost daily. The scripture (NIV) reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I was not speaking wholesome things about that team member nor was I building them up! I’ve always known that life and death is in the power of the tongue, but I never connected how my unkind words could kill someone both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was badly bullied all through my teen years and I turned all that pent up and negative energy toward those that I felt disrespected me. I talked about people like it was my lifeline.
Remember that line from Mean Girls when Cady is talking about how she could see people getting annoyed with her but she just couldn’t stop? That was me.
It wasn’t until I asked God to really change my heart (Psalm 51:10*) that I began to feel my heart shifting from the world to God. I began to monitor my thoughts and my words. I was able to stop! I would avoid certain conversations and feel bad when I slipped up. I started to try to practice Luke 9:23-24* more and more. I have grown to a point when I don’t even like being around folks that are talking about someone. I’ll playfully joke with someone but if I feel that the conversation is turning to the point of gossip, I am sure to remove myself.
I am learning that the God in me is not comfortable around those who are comfortable in the world. I have even stopped cursing. It felt wrong that the same tongue that formed words to uplift and praise my God also formed such ugly words.
I was in a new place and I wanted to be there. I was so pleased with the person I was becoming that I began to do all that I could to keep her around. I began to do all that I could to ensure that God was pleased with the woman I am becoming.
James 4:8a says ‘come near to God and He will come near to you’. I created a prayer that I pray almost every night to ensure that my mind is on true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
I am so proud to say that I am not the woman I was but I am also proud to say that I had a very small part in this change. All of it is from God and I thank Him daily for His hand in my journey.
I could not have beat this beast on my own and neither can you. God is strong enough to kill the temptation to gossip. God is good enough to use that battle as a testimony; Just as He is doing with me now. I wanted to share the prayer that I came up with because I know I’m not the only person who has struggled with this.
The Gossip Prayer
God, please help me to get control of this ugly beast called gossip and unwholesome talk. I will not let it destroy or disrupt the destiny You have for me. You said that You would provide a way of escape when my temptations rear their ugly heads, so please show me the exit.
Lord speaking negatively of other people is so satisfying to my flesh but so incredibly harmful to my spirit. Honestly Lord, I am so tired of it. I no longer want to be satisfied by my unkind words and I ask that You give me victory today! I claim authority over my heart, mind and tongue to be aligned with You. You have authority over this spirit of gossip and unkindness and I claim that power now. Be my strength when I am weak.
Thank You for Your grace. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.
*A Zulu proverb about gossip.
*Psalm 51:10 NIV – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
*Luke 9:23-24 NIV – Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.