Are you a gossip and don’t know it?

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”  Proverbs 11:13

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

When someone tells you his sad story or bears her raw-self, keep that confidence.  Do not pass the story (crisis) on to others.  If the person wants others to know, then it is his or her story to tell. In her book, Love Warrior: A Memoir, Glennon Doyle Melton writes about a major crisis in her life.

When Glennon’s husband revealed his infidelity, her life hit rock bottom.  She says to a therapist, “My husband has been sleeping with other women.  I hate him.  I want to stop hating him, but I can’t.  I don’t feel safe in my own home.  I’m angry all the time.  I’m afraid all the time.  I’m afraid of staying together.  I’m afraid of divorcing.  I can’t even think about my kids’ pain. . . .” (Love Warrior, pages 180 & 181.)

Glennon continues, “When a friend asks, ‘What happened?’  I want to pick up a crystal vase and smash it unto the ground. ‘That’s what happened,’  I’d say. The few times I try to tell the shattering as a story, I regret it.”

Glennon says, there was a listener “who was far too curious about the details of my shattering.  She  asked  inappropriate, probing questions and her eyes glistened as she waits for my answer.  I learned later that she passes on the breaking news almost immediately usually with a worry or prayer disclaimer.  ‘You guys, I’m so worried about Craig and Glennon.  Did you hear what happened?’  Keep them in your prayers.” Love Warrior, page 148. “A person who steals (our crisis) our story, and uses it to entertain is the worst kind of thief!”

Are you a gossip?  Really, maybe you are a gossip and do not know it because you disguised your story-telling in the guise of concern.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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