Prayer and Gossip
I love to pray. It is such a comfort to me. When I lost my family, my prayer life deepened. I relied on God instead of my parents. Taking the opportunity to pray never meant much because I had the support of my parents. If I could talk to them, even if I did not want their advice, then I could work through most problems.
I prayed to God, but I did not engage in a conversation with him until I could no longer engage in conversation with my parents. I have said it before, God took my parents and I feel it is a blessing. Maybe not in the moment it happened, but in the moments since. I had no one to talk to, so I had to talk to God. I had no one to offer up their opinion of others when I had issues with others, so I had to talk to God. I found it comforting.
Several years ago, I had an issue with someone. They shared things with me, like friends do; however, at some point the information seemed to be more hurtful than just friendly chatter. It became clear that there was an issue between me and my friend. I prayed about it and sought God’s presence for our relationship. The scripture that God lead me to, I ignored. Because I know better than God who I want in my life, right?
Proverbs 20:19 “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” I could not get this verse out of my head. But another thought stayed with me at this time. “If this person is saying this about others who seem to be close friends of theirs, then what is she saying about me?” God told me to distance myself, but in my wisdom, I could not turn my back on them.
I felt torn between being a true friend to someone whom I felt needed one and my clear instructions from God. I worked on resolving my issues with the relationship through scripture, something I had never done before. And then it happened. God resolved it for me. Confrontation and anger were necessary in order for me to completely leave the relationship I had valued so much. Hurt feelings and misunderstandings were involved. Unresolved conflict destroyed what could have been a good healthy friendship.
In talking with a pastor friend, he heard what I said and then offered up advice. Pray for them. And so, I started praying for them. I still pray for them. As I prayed, God revealed to me a sin in my life. (Other than disobedience to him.). Gossip. When you have information about someone and you share it with an intent other than to ask your spouse (or close friend) to pray for them, then you are gossiping. Gossip hurts. It hurts relationships, both here on earth but more importantly it hurts your relationship with God.
Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” I thought nothing of telling any information that my ears heard. If it did not hurt me, then who cares? God cares. He convicted me over a three-year period to change my habit of oversharing other people’s business. You can ask for prayer for others without sharing all the details of their life and why they need our prayers. God knows.
Gossip causes conflict. Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” This is a valuable verse because it teaches us to not become “teams”. No one knows what lies between friends unless it is shared. In sharing you are ultimately asking others to choose sides. I am not a “team” player. I do not ask for you to choose my side. My hope is always that if you really know me, then you know if what is being said about me is true. If you choose to believe someone else, then that is on you.
My hope is that this blog touches someone who struggles with gossip, one side or the other. If you have been gossiped about, then find my blog about forgiveness. If you are a gossip, then I pray that God convicts you to stop. If you feel I have gossiped about you, I hope you will message me so we can talk, and I can apologize.
Always seeking God’s Grace through my Blog…Love y’all, Crystal