This is a continued journey into Hello and Good Day, a new way to discover love and change things. But to change things, we’re going to have to take a good hard look at ourselves first and decide if what’s inside is worth keeping. Thank you for sticking with me and being a great listener and active participant.
There’s nothing worse than realizing someone has been talking shit about you behind your back. That is hyperbole. There are worse things.
But gossip is the worst.
To talk about my experience with gossip, I need to take you back to my first foray into college at a private Christian University. I felt like I was supposed to be there. I still think that now, but not for my original reasons. I remember feeling like I belonged when I first showed up on campus. But over time, I could feel a distinct schism between what I thought I was, what I perceived this school as, and how those two things were nowhere near as similar as who I really was.
I wanted to be in a safe place, a place where I felt God was, and I wanted to learn to become something according to my plan. Man… 0/3
So picture me, little skinny hot shit Rob, who’s starting to realize he’s not really hot shit… and he’s not so skinny anymore either¹. And he looks around at this place, and sees a little bubble of Christendom that is watching a small town rot away. And then this little bubble – instead of helping – just buys up property for its own magnificence. And so this dumb kid checks out, stops going to church, and tries to ignore it.
And some of his friends are talking. About him not going to church. Because that shit is important. It’s the only way to gauge how Christian someone is. He’s sleeping in. He’s depressed. He’s struggling with the death of his grandfather. And a couple of his friends don’t talk about those things. No. They talk about how he’s not serious about his walk with Christ.
And this gossip got back to me. It opened my eyes. Is going to Church the litmus test for spiritual maturity? Is it a fruit of the spirit? I’m sure to some extent it is a good marker for someone who wants to appear to love God. Or at least be in obedience to Him. But my friends maybe saw it merely as symptom of something wrong with me, then didn’t take the time to find out what was going on in my life. They refused to love. It was much easier to judge, and speak amongst themselves about it. It was much more comfortable to talk shit.
So my pain eventually drove me to drop out, and then I moved down to Texas where I was lucky enough to find a church that acknowledged that being real about our hurts and pain helps us grow in Christ. Others aren’t so lucky. How many people have been hurt by Christ followers, left out in the cold, and never recovered? The number would be daunting. It haunts me, leaving a sick feeling in me like ice in my veins.
Gossip is cancer. It is a rampant growth of malice, unchecked in secret. It destroys, twists, and devours. And the church is littered with it. It twists itself around a ministry, like weeds suffocating the roots and killing a flourishing plant.
If it’s in your midst, excise it. Cut it out.
If it’s you, knock that shit off. Don’t disguise it as concern for someone else. Don’t disguise it as correction. It is a means to stratify ourselves above others, undermine their value, and practice the oldest sin of all: PRIDE.
CUT. THAT. SHIT. OUT.
¹ Freshman Fifteen? Try Twenty-Five.