. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. ... .. ... .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . .. . .
Keep in mind...this is a repost! with a few minor revisions..
Recently, I received a weighty email from a good friend of mine. We don't talk often, but enough to call it keeping in touch.
I say weighty because within this email was a question, among brief sketchy details, about a quandary she was in. She wondered if I could use a few adjectives to describe someone else- "to help her better understand"...this particular person.
It was a simple enough question, and the email was laced with a complete "understanding", that if I didn't want to reply, it'd be okay. I could tell my friend was, at best, bothered and wrestling. Yet...
I was flattered - that she would want my opinion! I just so happen to know this other person, too... so my response could have easily weighed-in to the dilemma my friend was having.
I smelled the gray area. The fine line... that is ALWAYS, ALWAYS present within and among women (all of mankind, really). And sadly, more often than not, among the Christian circles at large.
I remember many years ago...making a conscious effort to guard myself against the sin of gossip, (I knowingly have failed; many, many times over) but, this conscious thought, quickly, came to mind...as I read my friends email again and again, wondering how I should appropriately respond.
I let it go for a day or two to ponder and to pray. By the way, I asked my friend if I could share this as an illustration. She hesitantly said yes!...hoping that, perhaps, it would encourage someone else.
My husband has been so helpful for me - with this fine gray line. I am one who so quickly will let hear-say get to me. I want or feel the need to talk about it to others to "figure out" if what I've heard is really true... sometimes it's been to the point of nearly destroying relationships. Which is terrible.
Other times, I have been the bouncing board, the sponge, and/or the basket... all ears to absorb the "shocking news", soak it all up, or to gather enough information ... just enough... to give my "humble opinion", when an opportunity arrives to do so.
Here is how and what my husband has brought to the table of our marriage relationship... which, again, has been so helpful to me. It puts me in my place and the wheels of verbal injury to a screeching halt.
I'll share it with you - too. Maybe it will be a blessing to someone else, here today.
He'll stop me in mid-sentence with:
1. Did I (do something to) cause it?
2. Am I (personally) involved?
3. Can I "fix" it?
If not... (meaning, by saying no to all three areas)... then don't talk to me about it. Period. End of story.
Scott also likes to say; "Control the things I can, and the things I cannot control... than control my reaction to those things".
I think the devil loves to have a hay-day with that ever-so-fine-line. But, I'm encouraged with Scripture which helps remind: Greater is HE that is in us, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4-6)
Your thoughts: What do you choose to do with the fine, gray line of gossip?
What if it sincerely was meant as a prayer request; a need for your "humble opinion"; or, a plea for advice when bottom line it really is true-blue gossip? How do you discern?
Isn't life hard, sometimes?
I'm asking myself these same questions..