Sunday, April 7, 2013
Judging and Lack of Self-Control: The Precursors to Gossip
I've written about gossip before, and how it can destroy lives. We know that it's not a pastime that brings about anything good.
Yet, I think to really nip it in the bud is to figure out how it starts.
First of all, I think one of the main things that starts it is being overly judgmental.
There are so many women who judge a situation and/or before they know the full story, and then open their mouths to elaborate what they ABSOLUTELY know is the complete, undeniable truth.
For instance, Lady A sees Lady B having lunch in public with a guy who isn't her husband. Lady A then freaks out and decides to call everyone she knows that Lady B is having an affair with someone.
The truth? The guy is actually a friend of Lady B's and they're on a lunch break and decided to have lunch together. Nothing romantic is going on at all. Yet, now, because Lady A decided to open her mouth, Lady B's reputation is ruined and her friends will never look at her the same way.
What would have been the correct way to handle it? Lady A should have kept quiet and approached Lady B and actually asked her what was going on.
I believe jumping the gun and judging others is how so many vicious rumors get started.
Jesus says, "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your [sister's] eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your [sister] 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first, take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your [sister's] eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)
We need to be extra careful when we decide to judge others. Jesus says to remember that the judgment you make "will be measured back to you." Nobody is perfect. In some ways, especially if they're a sister or brother in Christ, sometimes, we may have to do some judging in terms of helping them to become a better Christian. Yet, Jesus also says to make sure that you're not doing the same thing, and/or to make sure that your heart is in the right place and you are approaching it in the correct way.
Yet, here's the thing: if you don't feel as if you can approach it in the correct way, or have no idea how to, just let it go and don't do anything yet. Just pray that God will help you find the way or bring things to light in His own way.
Also, leading from being judgmental, it also stems from issues of lacking self-control.
Most of the time, gossip begins with judging, and then turns into this insatiable desire to share the drama with everyone. And until that lust for sharing the drama is quenched for a short time, they run their mouths to everyone.
We as Christians are commanded to develop self-control. (2nd Timothy 2:17, 2nd Peter 1:6, Galatians 5:22-23, 2nd Timothy 3:2-3, Proverbs 25:28)
A lack of self-control is a sin. It is a problem that leads to so many other sins: greed, fornication, wrath, and so many more. How can we possibly live for God the way we should if we can't develop self-control?
We as Christians must train ourselves to stop and think before we do or say anything! It is so imperative that we develop this in ourselves.
This is what it boils down to:
Gossip can be stopped in these ways:
A. Stop jumping to extreme conclusions to every situation we encounter.
B. Ask God to help you figure out how to handle a situation that actually does need dire help-don't run to or text everyone you know and spread everything. Just ask for His guidance.
C. Exercise self-control, and insert foot in mouth. If you're unsure about something, just don't say it.