Friday, August 29, 2008

Sometimes......


I wish I were a kid again.....but then I would miss summer already.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 5: Say Nothing

I truly believe that the hardest thing in this world is taming the tongue, really! For me to "say nothing" is very very hard! This past Friday at work, I had every intention of keeping low-key and not saying much of anything.

How did it go? Well, let me ask you a question? Have you ever started out a day and thought, "I'm going to really get in TROUBLE today!" That was my day on Friday, I could not keep my mouth shut. On average, I work with two or three ladies and we are almost always talking to each other. As soon as I would say something that day, whether it was gossip or sarcastic, or whatever, I envisioned a tally mark going up. My day on Friday was a reminder of how imperfect I am and the true need for a change. Only through Christ can I change from being the mouthy person I am to being graceful and kind.

UPDATE: Monday I went to work and spoke very little. I was trying to control what I say.....by saying very little (all or nothing I suppose :P). My co-worker did notice a difference and asked if I was "feeling bad, upset, or just not feeling like talking". I just responded that I was tired, which made me quiet (not to mention that I'm trying to keep myself out of trouble :D, which I did not mention).

If my co-worker can notice and comment on the difference in my talkativeness, surely this should be a great motivator to change many things that hurt my witness for Christ.

I want her, and others to see the difference Christ has made in me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 4: Never Name Names

If a situation must be told, which often is helpful to share with others, names may need to remain anonymous. If sharing a prayer request may prompt gossipers to do their thing, not using names helps get the word out so people know the need is there, without saying who.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 3: Avoid Settings That Lead to Gossip

Top Places to Gossip:
1)Work
2)School
3)Home
4)Church

Can these places be avoided? Mostly, yes. Should they? Absolutely not!

Work: If you work outside of the home, you know well enough that the best place to find gossip is at the work place. So what do you do when you find yourself around gossip? A friend of mine told me about a co-worker she worked with years ago who would leave the breakroom if gossip came up. What a great example! It was VERY convicting to my friend who witnessed this. Gossip can be avoided by watching out for the areas where it takes place, and the people who start it. This may mean that you have your morning break by yourself, or pass up the copy machine when there is a line of gossipers waiting.

School: When I was a freshman in college, I had an hour break between my afternoon classes. Instead of studying or doing homework, my friend and I would watch everyone. We would pick out people, some we knew and some we didn't, and talk about them. We did not necessarily talk bad talk, but just wasteful chat, like how cute someone was, or how someones skirt was a little too....almost not there.

A lot of time was spent wasted by concerning myself with other people. The following semesters I spent in the library by myself, or running errands around town. Idleness is a quick route to gossip, it was for me.

Home:
Gossip happens A LOT at home. If you don't think that it happens in your home....ipay careful attention. I know that I often have this notion that home is the "okay" place to gossip, after all....it's just my family I am talking to. I cannot allow my attitudes towards someone else affect the way that my family sees that person. How hard is that? VERY! We want to trust our family with our secrets and the things we share about others, but it can be very dangerous. I have allowed members of my family to affect my feelings about others...even though I got along with the person just fine.

Church: Eek! When I was a child I had the idea that if you were going to lie, just make sure it wasn't in church, even though it was wrong, PERIOD! Same with gossip, if you're going to talk bad about someone, just don't do it in the church, it makes God unhappy. However, suddenly, gossip in church crept up on me. Back in the day, when I was little, I thought that every lady in the church was sweet and the best Christian women you could find. Then I got older and learned more about others via gossip. I can never look at the same women with the admiration I had had before, even though they had done nothing to me to make me feel differently.

Gossip taking place in church can soon seem "needful". Everything that is said on the church grounds seems safe....add the word "prayer" and suddenly telling everyone that you saw Mike talking to another woman really does not seem like gossip, but like a prayer request. Hmmmm.....
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UPDATE: How many times do you unintentionally make a comment and suddenly, you're talking about somebody? Whew....I did that today. I offhandedly brought up a silly remark and words begin to fly from my co-workers...and me. I quickly put it back to rest. This reminded me of a fire that is dwindling done to tiny glowing ashes, then throwing dry straw on it, and suddenly you have a raging fire. This is the way gossip is.

The Lord showed me today the effects on my little remarks, and how they can fuel a fire. I also put into practice not allowing being alone with someone as this could open a window to gossip. If gossip starts, it should be turned quickly around. One thing to help, say, "I got to go to the restroom!" Maybe the person will forget what they were saying. Baby steps..... hehe!