Have you ever found yourself gossiping?
Maybe you've gotten caught up in a circle of gossip with your friends. Maybe you overheard the parent's in the bleachers causing drama or talking a little smack. Maybe you picked up on it and went and told someone else what you heard without knowing the truth. Maybe you heard it and knew it wasn't true but chose to walk away and ignore it. Maybe you found out someone was gossiping about you. Maybe the conversation going on in your head has you gossiping about yourself! 😳
Being caught up in a gossip circle with family and people we call friends can be a tough and uncomfortable situation! It can be hard to find the courage to speak up when you know it’s wrong, hurtful and untrue.
As Christian's, as leaders and as kind human beings, we have a responsibility to stop the gossip. 🛑✋
Here are a few strategies to help when you find yourself hearing or sharing some gossip:
1) Challenge the story: Instead of rolling with one angle of a story being told, ask "what if." Encourage other people to get curious about what might be behind the story. This allows us to have grace for the situation. 🧐
Example: “Susie got a fast new horse and spent a boat load of money, be ought to win today.”
Challenge: maybe she did, but maybe she gave up a lot of other things and made a heck of a deal with her parents. Either way, we have no idea what really happened with the horse and it's really none of our business. I hope she learns a lot and I wish her the best.
2) Find the truth: Gossip often has some truth in it. Find the truth and invite the gossipers to discard the rest of the story. 🚮
Truth: Susie did get a nice new horse.
Discard: we don't actually know anything about the rest of the story, let's not share things we don't know about. I wouldn't want people making assumptions about me if I was in her shoes.
3) Be bold: Sometimes, we simply have to put a stop to the gossip. If you come across anyone, even adults, being nasty or saying things that shouldn't be said about anyone, kids, adults, volunteers, workers, be bold and ask them kindly to stop. You might ask if they're loving their neighbor in the moment. Remind them that we don't know if it's true, we don't know what's happening behind closed doors and God's people love their neighbor.💪
Example: Hey guys, I love you all, but don’t you think we’re being a little judgmental and gossipy? Let’s just be nice, wish her luck with her new horse and talk about our runs!
4) You can't be hateful and grateful at the same time! Remind them to be grateful we have the opportunity to be wherever we are, with the people that we're surrounded with. We get to be grateful when the competition gets a little tougher because it challenges everyone to step up their game. 🤗🥰 And of course the volunteer list is always open. If we don't like the way something is done, we need to do something about it, not complain and gossip. 🙋♀️🙋♂️
Example: I'm glad she got a jam up horse! I'm excited to watch and see how she rides it. Maybe she can give me a few tips to help me ride better too!
5) Pray. Pray for the courage to fly like an eagle above the gossip and do the right thing, even if it's hard and uncomfortable. Pray that God rebukes the devil from situation. Pray for the person or people being gossiped about. Pray for those that are doing the gossiping to refocus on what's important and being kind. 🙏
Lord, I pray that you rebuke the devil from the gossip that is happening. I pray that you rebuke the judgement, lies, untrue stories told. I pray that those who are speaking it find grace, love and truth. Lord, pray that you help me have the courage to do the right thing in this situation. I pray for the person or people who are being gossiped about and that you protect them from lies, hurt and deception that is happening and give them the courage and confidence to rise above it with grace and kindness. Amen!
If you’re that person who has been gossiping and nasty, just stop. The amazing thing about God is that is forgives us and will lead us in the right direction, away from habits, away from nasty people and thoughts, away from insecurities and selfishness. Just turn to him, ask forgiveness from him and if necessary, the people you have said hurtful things about.
Start again! We all have a bright light inside of us, sometimes we just have to turn it on so it can drown out the darkness. ✨
✏️ Camarie Roorda