I am not quite sure if this is a pastor's wife thing, or an everybody thing. But, ask someone how Jane is doing in the church, and before long you are caught up in a gossip fest about her. "Oh Jane, she just isn't right…" (fill in the blank) All I was doing was asking you how your friend was doing, and now I know why y'all are no longer friends. What she said. What happened. And why I shouldn't like her either. Before long, the story is so juicy, I am on your side of it. When there was never suppose to be a side.
Leviticus 19:16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people…"
Not only does the bible say people who gossip are trouble makers, untrustworthy, friendship ruiners. But for those of us on the other side listening, The bible says we are wrongdoers for just listening to gossip. (Proverbs 17:4) I have been on both sides of it. The gossiper and the listener. It is so easy to get caught up in gossip. I don't know why we in our flesh so naturally love to tear people down, and listen to others do it to people. But it feeds our flesh in a way I can't describe. We leave feeling somewhat better about ourselves. Like the other persons mess ups, have made us better people.
When we listen to other people gossip, we are listening to them not take their thoughts captive. Their thoughts then become our thoughts, and now we aren't taking their thoughts captive either. What started as an honest question asking about Jane, has brought us down this dark deep hole of negative thoughts. Any of you been there? I have! I have been the one leading people there, and have been the one being lead there. Now because of gossip, we walk around with this negative, skewed view of Jane we should have never had.
So how do we stop it pastors' wives? Maybe instead of asking how so and so is doing? First talk positive, lovely, sweet things about the person then ask how so and so is doing. If someone was talking highly of someone then asked me how they were doing, I would find it hard to say anything negative about them. Or maybe, if someone starts to gossip, you just ask them to hold on a minute and go to the restroom. By the time you get back, hopefully the conversation won't even matter, and the person will realize what they were doing. Maybe, if someone starts to gossip just tell them, "I don't think I want this conversation to go this way. I don't want anything said, to hinder my thoughts towards anyone else."
1. Talk positive, highly of other people
2. Walk away
3. Be honest, tell them you don't want to talk about someone
Maybe some of you ladies have some other tactics to stop gossip when it comes your way in the church. Please comment below, or email email@example.com what you do when it happens. I would love to hear other ways to avoid gossiping, and avoid listening to gossip. I will post a list tomorrow of your tips.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor