Cultivating Kindness

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“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud”

1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think it’s coincidental that all these are in the same single verse of scripture.

I’ve been noticing lately, in the world around me, how much we lack kindness. A helping hand when someone is struggling. A gentleman to hold the door for the ladies. A simple “thank you” or “have a good day”. All these things are few and far between, but I don’t think they should be.

“So, Megan, what do you want us to do about that?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Today I want to talk about cultivating a culture of kindness. (Nice alliteration!)

As women of God and daughters of a King, we should live our lives above reproach and in a way that glorifies Him. Part of that is living our lives in a kind way.

When people think of kindness, they often think of saying please and thank you. That’s the easy part of being kind. Being mannerly. But people tend to fall short when it comes to going the extra mile. When scripture says that love is patient and kind, it also says that love is not jealous, boastful, or proud.

If love is kind, then showing kindness is showing love. Not to be recognized or to say we did something good, but because it’s the right thing to do. Because we love other people.

“But, Megan, what about all those jerks out there who are never going to be kind to me?”

Here’s the tricky part, guys. Jesus never put conditions on being kind. In fact, in Luke, He says this:

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Luke 6:35 (NLT)

If God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and we are His children, shouldn’t we follow in His footsteps?

You see, kindness isn’t about what we get in return. Kindness is about bringing Heaven to Earth. When we are kind, when we go that extra mile to help someone who needs help, our light shines bright and we stand out.

We aren’t a people meant to blend in with this culture, in this world. We’re supposed to be the shining light in the darkness around us. So what if that person may not thank you or give you a huge reward? Won’t your heavenly reward be that much greater for all the times you portrayed your Savior?

If God can show kindness to the evil, why can’t we show kindness to our neighbors? Maybe even that stranger in the grocery store. The short one who can’t reach the shelf. Or the one who looks completely lost. Toss a smile to people who pass you by. You don’t know how far your kindness will go or whose life it will touch.

Besides all that, did you know that most marriage failures can be traced back to a lack of courtesy to one another? If you’re looking to get married in the future, cultivating kindness in your life is an excellent habit to start now.

In my life, kindness has been my greatest means of witnessing Jesus to others. Because, honestly, who smiles that much? Who gives so much of themselves and expects nothing in return? Why would they do that?

Let’s cultivate kindness in our own lives so it can spread to others. Let’s be the start of a movement that brings joy back to a floundering generation.

Are you with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on cultivating kindness in the comments below!

When Happy Seems Far Away

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There are so many things I could discuss with you guys. So many emotions that go through my mind and heart on a daily basis. So many hopes and dreams that I’m sure you all share with me. However, as we don’t have time or coffee today, I’m going to share with you one thing I’ve been learning recently.

As single women, we often feel that this is a time in life to “get through”. We long for the day our man sweeps us off our feet. We secretly plan our future wedding (don’t deny it, you know you do). We imagine what lazy days will be like after we’re married. How our hubby will treat us. And somewhere in the middle of all that dreaming, we lose our sense of peace and contentment.

We start to wonder why it’s taking so long. If only… 

It’s those thoughts that will drag you down into the quagmire of depression. Did you know that we’re stronger than we think?

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (TPT)

Even though we may feel like it’s the end of the world. Like nothing will ever go right and maybe, sometimes, like God is keeping things from us, I can assure you that isn’t the case!

God sees all, knows all, and is all. He knows the timing that’s going to make your future relationship beautiful. He knows everything you need and everything you want. He knows your heart and He is willing to inconvenience you to bless you with everything He has in store.

Our job is to let His strength move through us. We can’t give up! Even if we’re taking it one day at a time (and believe me, I am), we have to live each day to God’s standard. We have to believe that He knows what he’s doing. There is no one who cares more about us.

So how do we stay positive when the world is looking bleak?

“for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Philippians 4:11b

According to Paul, contentment is a learned art. So what do we do? We let God teach us.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”

So where are you feeling unsatisfied? If you can pinpoint that, it’s not as hard to turn it around and find a new perspective on it. Find the beauty in where you’re at right now. It may seem difficult at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time.

So what are you going to thank God for today? How are you going to walk down the road of contentment while you’re still in this season of preparation?

To Be Seen

City Real Estate

 

One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling of being overlooked.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve felt alone and unseen. I’ve cried those silent tears into my pillow at night. I’ve screamed at the sky and asked God why he isn’t using me the way I want him to.

And then I realized: this isn’t about me. It’s all about timing. God’s timing. Even if we don’t like it, God’s timing is perfect. Maybe (just, go with me here) He knows what’s best for us and maybe, JUST MAYBE, He wants the absolute best for our lives.

Many times in our season of singleness, we feel unloved or left out. Our friends may be getting married or having babies. They may have a “prospect” or a “guy friend” and you’ve got nothing. Trust me I can relate to that one. (Seriously, if that’s you, drop me a comment. I’m living it right now.)

If this is you, feeling overlooked and undervalued, I’d like to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite men in the Bible. The beginning of his story is found in 1 Samuel 16 and the first mention of him is very telling.

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

1 Samuel 16:11

For those of you familiar with the Bible and the study thereof, you will have figured out that this passage is the first time anyone talks about David in the Bible.

I find it interesting that the very first mention of one of the most important men in the plan of salvation didn’t even mention his name. “There is the youngest,” Jesse tells Samuel. Almost like an afterthought. Like he hadn’t even remembered him until that exact moment.

And where is David while EVERYONE else is attending a ritual sacrifice to the I Am? David is left back at home. “Just” the youngest. Watching the sheep and the goats while everyone else is in the limelight, parading before God and the prophet.

How do you think that particular conversation went?

“David, your brothers and I are going to witness the prophet Samuel offer a sacrifice. Watch the sheep and goats okay?”

Do you think David wondered why he of all people had to stay behind? Do you think he felt a little left out and unloved? Unseen? Overlooked?

You see, not all grand plans have exquisite beginnings. Even though Jesse summons David to stand before the prophet and EVEN THOUGH Samuel anoints David as the next king, there aren’t any fireworks or a parade. There isn’t an announcement that “David will rule this nation next!” There is no press release or instant fame and fortune.

After Samuel anoints David, he leaves. David leaves. David goes back to his sheep and his goats. He continues to serve his father, to obey and listen and do what he’s told. And he waits.

Sometimes we take for granted the moments that happen in the waiting. We so badly want the end that we don’t take time to appreciate the little things. We forget to tend to our sheep and our goats. We forget to love ourselves and our lives even if we know there is more for us.

Today, let’s make a pact, you and I. We will live adventurously. We will not take the mundane for granted. We will pick up our callings and we will do what we can with what we have. We will wait for God to open doors and we will say yes when he does. Today, let’s agree to stop trying to make it all happen for ourselves. Let’s agree to let God be in charge and give us every good thing he has for us.

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 18:30

Acts Of Obedience

 

Acts of OBEDIENCE

We’ve all been there. The place where God is telling you to do something. In my case, an act of faith. He doesn’t always tell us how, He just asks us to do. In my case, after a lot of prayer about what to do, God’s answer came in three simple words: prepare for rain.

Sounds easy, right? Except it wasn’t. The direct order was followed by a whole lot more prayer and a lot of questions to myself about what to do. How to do it.

You see, God’s instructions are always simple, but they’re not always easy. Take practically any direct order from the Bible, and you’ll see.

For example:

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

Judges 6:14 (NLT)

See? Simple but not easy.

I love the story of Gideon, because I relate to him on so many levels. Gideon had the potential to be a mighty warrior, but he didn’t see it in himself. His own insecurities ruled his life.

He was hiding, a cynical man who didn’t think God would ever use him. Gideon wasn’t actually a warrior of Israel. He grew wheat. But he also feared God. He knew, deep down, what to do, but he was scared to do it. So he asked for signs right from the get-go.

Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. 18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”

He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”

19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree

Judges 6:17-19 (NLT)

And of course, everyone knows that after that, he asked for more signs. I so relate to this! Sometimes I find myself asking God “can you just give me something to work with?” when I should really just be trusting His plan.

Deep down, we all want to obey God. We think we really trust Him. We know He’s good and has good plans for us. But then, sometimes, His timing just isn’t as fast as we’d like. He makes promises, but they don’t come to pass as quickly as we expected.

It’s in these seasons of life that we learn how to obey even when we don’t feel like it. It’s here that we “prepare for rain”, even when we don’t see a cloud on the horizon.

I won’t say it’s been easy to obey this command. It took a solid two weeks for me to figure out what I could do as an act of faith. I procrastinated another week before I started working on it. I’m still in the middle of the project. And there still doesn’t appear to be an answer to the original prayer. But I’m obeying, despite what I see. Because I know my God is good and His timing is perfect. Because I know, if I follow His commands and obey what He says, the best is in store for me.

IS GOD PERFECTING YOU?

 

Is God Perfecting You_

 

Have you ever prayed and asked God for something and then immediately it seems like everything goes wrong or gets worse, and everything that you don’t want to happen happens? If you’ve ever felt like this, you’re not alone!

A few months ago I was on my break at work, and I was talking with God in prayer, and as I was just sitting in His presence, He spoke to me. He said, Daughter, my people seek me in prayer, and I respond to them, but when I answer their prayers they cry out to me again asking me to make it stop.

I was in shock, and I ask the Lord what He mean. He said my people pray for strength, so I allow a difficult situation to come their way to strengthen their perseverance, but instead of being strong and pressing through, they cry out to me saying make it stop Lord. They pray to grow in love, so I bring people to them who have been written off by the world as “too difficult to love,” yet they come back to me asking me to remove that person from their life. They want to grow in the fruits of the Spirit, yet when I place them in the fire to stretch and mold them, they cry out for me to stop. How can you grow in love if your love is not tested? How can you grow in kindness, if your kindness is not tested? How can you grow in patience if your patience is not tested? How can you grow in joy if your joy is not tested? How can you be strong if your strength is not tested?

When I tell you it took everything in me not to shout in that stairwell at work!!! That thing hit me, and all I could say was WOW, forgive me, Father!

The Bible tells us that we are tested and tried:

James 1:2-4 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 1:7 ESV

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I’m confident that some of us are stuck in situations because we don’t want to go through anything, but God wants us to walk through the fire so He can refine us, so He can shape us, stretch us, mold us, and purify us! So count at all joy my sweet sister when you are faced with various trials trust that God will see you through. He is our strength when we are weak. So as you are pressed past your comfort zone, trust that the Creator of the universe will lead you through. Be encouraged!

 

 

He Heals The Brokenhearted

He is Near to the BrokenHearted !

‘ He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘PSALM 147:3 AMP

The ladies of VirtousBella and I were doing a devotional with scripture reading. One of our readings talked about processing loss and grief. After having a great dialogue with the ladies, I wanted to share my experience with processing loss and pain and hopefully encourage someone. 

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Or maybe things have happened to you that you decided you would never relive, so you swept it under the rug and kept pushing forward. I’ve been there! I know for me personally I use to tell myself “you don’t have time to fall apart, you have bills to pay” and I would sweep it under the rug and go into straight hustle mode. No time and no emotion. I feared that if I allow myself to open up and grieve that I might not recover. I use to think “what if I don’t recover, what if I lose it?” “What if the pain of the situation is too much to bear?! Then what, how will I survive?” So my defense was always to sweep it under the rug. I would think about it for a bit, but when I felt the rushing waves of my emotions, I would shut it down and tell myself I had to keep it together because no one else was going to take care of me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was playing the role of god in my life. Over time I learned that this was unproductive. I began to learn about healing, deliverance and genuinely leaving it all at the altar. Once I allowed God to deal with me, I had to take a trip back down memory lane. I had to revisit situations I had blocked out. I had to process those emotions, but the good news was that God was right there with me. I got to cry on His lap, and once I released it at the altar, I LEFT IT THERE and allowed Him to heal my heart. The danger of not dealing with situations is that it will most likely lead to sin. Whether it be assault unforgiveness, rape, family issues, church hurt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, depression or any and everything in between. These emotions and the situations that triggered them, if left undealt with never end up good and become the devil’s playground. Now I’ll be honest my road to deliverance wasn’t pretty! BUT I trusted God and I survived. I was delivered and healed, and that’s honestly freedom I can’t explain. I encourage you to let go and trust God. Freefall into His arms and He will catch you! Recieve your deliverance and remember to walk in your deliverance!  God bless you, sister!

‘  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV

When It Hurts

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There are times when life just hurts, deeply.   We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them.  Time passes, and the wounds heal.  We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  ~ Psalm 147:3

However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again.  Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed.  We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.

Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?

It festers.  A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.

While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls.  A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock.  He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever.  A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm.  He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need.  At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen.  The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.

We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel.  Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd.  And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.

Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen.  The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently.  He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures.  He commissions us to:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

When it hurts, pray for healing.  Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God.  The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.

Forgive.   Love.   Pray.   Trust.

When Your Dreams Are Big

Big Dreams

Do you feel it?  A stirring in your heart to do something others may think is crazy? Do you find yourself staring into space and dreaming a dream that is so big you are terrified?  Yet, no matter how scared you are or intimidating it seems… you just can’t shake it.  How do we know when these desires are what God wants for us versus our fleshly desires?

What does God’s word say about it?

If you were to search the scriptures would you find any verses where the Lord clearly speaks against whatever this desire is?  Or, would any of the steps along the way require you to compromise His clear directions?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do you need to justify your choices not only to others but to yourself?

Does your spirit seem unsettled about the decisions you are making or the steps you are taking?  Are you having to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing, over and over again?  Are you feeling any conviction over your actions, guilt or shame?  Are you unwilling to listen to others or God’s Word, because you know it will speak against your choices?

But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.  Nehemiah 9:16

Have you spoken about your desires with trusted, godly, men and women in your life?

Are you afraid to talk to those who are closest to you about your dreams and your actions steps to get there?  Are you hiding any part of the process from them because you know they will disapprove?  Have you invited your prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf?

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

Have you laid your desires at the throne?

Have you taken your dreams and placed them at the foot of the cross, surrendering them to the Lord?  Do you pray for clarity and direction?  Have you invited the Holy Spirit to guide your dreams?   Do your prayers include requests for affirmation to assure you are in His will?

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  2 Peter 1:10

Do you trust the Lord with your dreams?

Are the reservations you are having about your dreams due to a lack of confidence in the Lord to be faithful to His promises?  When we trust in God, that means that we believe in His plans for us… even when they don’t make sense or seem too big.  It means that we are going to lean into Him during each and every step of the way.  A decision made daily to do what He asks of us for that day, and not to worry about tomorrow.  Commitment to walking with Him in prayer and through His word, clinging to our Shepherd to lead the way.

And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.  Psalm 9:10

The scriptures reveal many stories of people who the Lord cast big dreams for their lives.  In each story, we see individuals who called out for His guiding hand and provision.  A dependency on His protection, and the expectation of His miracles.

When your dreams are big, remember your God is bigger.

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Taming The Tongue

taming-the-tounge

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. ~

Psalm 141:3

Several years ago, I was serving with a team of women in the church.  I was the person in charge of the task, although I had a leader over me that I reported to.  Every month I met with my team, and we would come up with plans for accomplishing our assigned task.  Every month I would present it for approval, and every month we were shot down.  We felt like we were just treading water and honestly questioned if they really wanted this task completed.  We could never make headway.

That is when it started, the frustration building.

“Why are we even bothering to meet?”

“You should just tell the church to do whatever it wants, and stop wasting our time.”

“Maybe we should just do it on our own; they don’t even care.”

The excitement that once motivated us toward volunteering for this project had faded.  As the appointed leader, I heard their complaints.  I must confess, I was frustrated too.  The complaints about the project, however, began to shift to complaints about the church, and then to specific people.

“If more people from the team would speak up, they might listen.”

“It’s all Pastor’s fault; he’s never supported projects like this anyway.”

“I’m not surprised; Pastor has always been dismissive of ideas.  Sometimes I think he just gives enough permission so that you’ll leave him alone.”

The more talking was going on, the more frustration grew.  Thoughts were beginning to influence how we all viewed the church, the people overseeing us, and even our place in the body.  This ultimately led to a confrontation with another member.

What I had not realized was that I was working with a very unhealthy team.  I didn’t catch on to their complaints shifting into gossip.  What I saw as a legitimate conversation about our frustration had turned into a gossip and complaining session, and I was just as guilty.  I wasn’t just guilty the moment I began to share my opinions, I was guilty the very moment I allowed their feedback to turn into gossip.  I had let their voices influence me.

Then when the fellow leader and I ended up in a confrontation, those voices were unsurprisingly silent.  I am very grateful that the Lord put someone in my life who could help me see what was happening, and that I was able to apologize and reconcile with my fellow leader.  Gossip is a sneaky, sneaky thing.

Gossip is a like a spider web. Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and into a web?  You couldn’t see it coming, and you may not have immediately realized you walked into it.  But, as your senses catch up you realize what you have done if you are like me, panic follows.

When we think of gossip, we often think of the intentional spreading of lies about someone.  However, gossip can also be spreading truths… truths that were not ours to share.  In church, gossip can often be disguised as “prayer requests” or “venting”.  When serving on a committee or ministry, it can often come in the appearance of complaints.

We can often get caught up in gossip and not sense it until it is too late, just like the spider web.  And, like a spider web, once it is on us… gossip clings to us, and it’s hard to shake off.  We may even panic as we realize what we have done.

Once someone knows you are receptive to gossip, they will return to tickle your ears again.  When something is so sneaky and pervasive, how do we know the difference between someone who really needs to just talk something through or someone who is spreading gossip?

Some cues I watch out for:

  • Is she speaking about herself & her own problems?  If not, ask her if she has permission to share this with you.
  • Would she say these words to the person(s) involved?  If not, she shouldn’t be speaking them to you.
  • Is she trying to involve you in a situation that doesn’t concern you?  If so, point her back to those involved and encourage her to take the issue up with them.
  • Is she trying to get you to handle or solve the problem for her?  If so, suggest ways in which she can resolve the issue herself.  Take yourself out of the equation.
  • Is she speaking lies or truths just to make conversation or make herself feel better?  If so, don’t hesitate to point out that she is gossiping, and it is inappropriate.

When you begin to put boundaries in place on how you handle gossip tossed in your direction, you will change everything.  True gossipers who are just out to run their mouths will avoid you.  Those who may not realize what they are doing will learn to tame their tongues.  An added benefit is the more you put up boundaries against gossiping, the less often you will find yourself getting caught up in them.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29