"And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." - 1 Timothy 5:13 (KJV)
A recent experience at my church reminded me that some Christians live for drama. They spend hours gossiping about what happened or didn't happen during the service and sharing what they heard about "leadership". Then, when they hear that someone was supposedly have said something about them, they get bent out of shape.
I was approached the other day by a woman in church who told me that someone told her that I said something about her. As I sat there trying to figure out what I was supposed to have said, I was reminded again how the enemy will use any distraction to get us off track. After getting the woman to reveal her source, I realized that a conversation I had with someone at the church was taken out of context and then shared with another person at the church who then contacted the woman who approached me. I told the woman who approached me that I thought she was making the situation way bigger than it was and that I honestly didn't even remember what I was supposed to have said. I told her I would approach the person who started the rumor. I did approach the person and amazingly, she told me that she didn't remember what she said I was supposed to have said to the other woman who passed on the information to the woman who approached me. What a mess!
As I get older, I realize I have less patience for silly people who live for contention, wear their emotions on their sleeves and use any opportunity to sow discontent. I am almost certain that the women in this situation have a sincere heart for God. Yet, they seem clueless as to how their gossiping causes unnecessary strife and discord. I continue to pray about the situation and about some of the women who now seem to be giving me the cold shoulder at church, but my heart is saddened by the situation.
In my own search for solace, I found a wonderful article by Bryant Evans that offers suggestions on what to do when faced with gossiping Bettyes. And for the record, a gossiping Bettye could be female or male. It is a person who participates in idle talk or who spreads rumors (things they heard) about the personal or private affairs of others. The article by Bryant Evans links to another one of his articles which offers more wisdom on how to stop gossip.
How do you respond to people you know who gossip?