Many years ago, I passed two women gossiping in the middle aisle of our church. I passed right by them toward the kitchen when God said, “Go back.” As you can imagine, I didn’t want to go back—but I did.
I eased into them and said, “Ladies, people can hear you. If you want to gossip, take it outside.” I should have said, “Stop gossiping.” The truth was, I had no idea what to say.
That week, while sauntering down the aisles of Walmart, I overheard two workers, gossiping about another worker. I removed myself and wandered down another aisle. Two minutes later, the women followed. What in the world? I thought while moving yet again. And wouldn’t you know, they followed me there too!
“Okay God. What is going on?”
“Will you do it for me here?”
“No sir,” I said. “Lord, I’ve been known to gossip!” My heart hung heavy as I peered at the two women tearing this woman apart. I finally resolved my tension and made my way toward them.
Once again, I said, “Ladies, people can hear you tearing this woman apart.”
They froze with wide eyes and tight lips. I thought they might fall over.
“Breathe,” I thought. “It’s okay.”
“I won’t say anything, but you should know that customers can hear you. You may want to think about what you’re doing.”
With an ashamed, “Thank you. We’re so sorry.” They went on their way—in different directions.
I’m not the gossip controller. I’ve been there myself. However, sometimes God calls us to do difficult things, unpopular things, things that may get us blackballed from a group.
We get to choose. Does it matter enough for you to obey God . . . or the crowd. He gives us choices. So let us seek to build each other up, not tear them down.
Whatever your life looks like, remember that in the end, God wants to use us for His glory.