GOSSIP. THE ART of IDLE CONVERSATION – by Lois Macdonald


Gossip is the celebrated art of  “idle” conversation. The irresistible small talk that takes a front-row seat at most social events. Disguised as a party favor (used in case of, heaven forbid, an awkward moment of silence) in truth wears a hazardous warning label underneath his stylish cloak. This Deceiver loves to invite himself to our lunches with friends and co-workers. He smiles as he hands out samples of juicy tidbits seasoned with slander. The more often we partake, the more we crave it. The new Thesaurus describes gossip as, “yack, yak, yackety-yak.”

Our spouses are one of his primary targets. They unknowingly produce an endless amount of material such as, “Husbands, do they actually know what the dishwasher is for, etc.?” Although this popular form of chatter is guaranteed to entertain, among its casualties lay the innocent victims who once trusted us to safeguard what was shared in confidence. At the root of his deception is the belief that airing a little dirty laundry is quite harmless. Meanwhile, the sour after-taste of guilt and shame should be reason enough to know we have been poisoned.

This verbal train wreck stands in complete opposition to what is taught in Scripture.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29.

So why do we do it? Well as Robert Palmer would say, bottom line, it’s “Simply Irresistible!” Satan tries to convince us that we will feel better about ourselves if we focus on the imperfections in others. He wets our sinful appetite with his lies while trying to turn us away from the feast of God’s truth and goodness.

Awareness and repentance are at the heart of recovery. What is “Simply Irresistible” is the truth found in God’s Word. It encourages and lifts the broken-hearted. It heals and restores shattered relationships. It is the solid foundation to begin building healthy relationships on. The more often we partake in its sweetness, the more often we will crave its pure taste.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3.

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