Matthew 3; Exodus 24; Proverbs 11
“This was told to me in confidence, so make sure you don’t tell anyone else….” Ever have anyone start to tell you something with that disclaimer? I have. The correct response is, “So why are you telling me, then?” Unfortunately, being the curious guy I am, I usually listen and realize why it’s confidential and then wonder who else can keep this same confidence I’ve been asked to keep. I guess that makes me a gossip, doesn’t it?
The Bible speaks to this attitude: it’s wrong! “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” When people seek out others because of concerns in their lives it is because they have recognized something in us that shows that we are trustworthy. They see someone they can talk with who will help them and pray for them. Someone who will help them seek a solution. They are dealing with issues that may be embarrassing to them or that shouldn’t be public at that point in time, but they need someone that they can trust to support them. Betraying that confidence can be devastating to the person who shares with us.
As Christians, we don’t really gossip; we share prayer requests. I guess that puts a stamp of holiness on our gossip. In these days of tell all books, television interviews and social media many things become public that shouldn’t be public. We need to re-develop an understanding of what it means to support and pray for each other while not making private information public. Even if you yourself are not a gossip, you can help others stop gossiping. When someone comes to give you the latest gossip, or the most recent prayer request, feel free to ask them if that information really should be public. Avoid listening to the gossip and people will stop passing it on.