What is gossip? According to the dictionary, it’s defined as casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Here’s another definition. Gossip is sharing information with somebody who is not part of the problem or the solution. By these definitions, it seems like all social media is gossip.
Before the Internet, gossip was constrained to mouth-to-ear encounters. People talked about someone behind their back rather than confronting them directly. In this essence, gossip is a form of retaliation. In the short term, the spreader of the gossip may feel better, however, it is incredibly destructive. It destroys relationships, families, friends, businesses, and communities. Rather than spending time on positive things, it channels all energy to the negative. Social media is like gossip on steroids.
Gossip breeds unhealthy conflict, which is different than healthy conflict. Healthy conflict is in the DNA of great teams. It requires vulnerability-based trust and delivers commitment, accountability, and results that benefit the common good. Unhealthy conflict begets discord and dysfunction. Where there is unhealthy conflict, the focus must be on reconciliation, not resolution.
There’s a big difference between these two words. Reconciliation means re-establishing relational harmony. Resolution means solving every problem. In most cases, resolution isn’t practical because you can’t make everyone happy. There are some things we’ll just never agree upon.
But, we can learn to disagree without being disagreeable. We can learn to walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye. We can learn to have loving relationships with our “neighbors,” i.e., everyone else. The future of the human race depends on it.
This is not a matter of the state. It’s not a matter of social justice. It’s a matter of the heart. We can not make peace with other people until we make peace with God, the Great Reconciler.
Commit to renewing your mind to be ever mindful of Him throughout the day. When this becomes a habit, your thoughts will more quickly and regularly turn to God in dependence, thankfulness, and worship. You heart will be transformed to one of reconciliation, not gossip.
There are things that God desires to release through your life that will change the generations that will share your last name. Don’t let gossip kill that promise.